In spite of my one semester as a computer science major at Texas A&M — that’s when I learned the term “scholastic probation” — I’m far from being a numbers guy. But I do appreciate milestone numbers, like admiring my truck’s odometer when it hits 20,000, 21,112, 22,222, 23,456 … you get the idea.
Recently, I’ve noticed some milestone numbers as they relate to a few of the ways we communicate information about the City of College Station. Examples:
- Facebook likes: 4,800+
- Twitter followers: 4,000+
- YouTube views: 345,500+
- City blog posts: 200
- Total blog views: 50,000+
We employ means of communication other than social media tools, but because data is so readily available through these, I wanted to spend a little time focusing on one in particular: the College Station blog.
In August 2010, the city began blogging because I felt — and city leadership agreed — that it was important for us to find additional ways to address serious issues in a very honest and transparent way, and to openly engage with citizens who desired two-way conversation. You won’t find many cities in America willing to blog the way we do, but it’s something that we’ve found to be far more effective than typical one-dimensional press releases.
What we blog about
In two years and 200 blog posts, we’ve covered themes ranging from joyous to tragic. You’ve read our perspectives on major construction projects, traffic management, water conservation, finances, neighborhood interests, public safety issues and much more. What’s resonated most, so far? Here’s the data:
Most viewed blog posts:
- 4,982 Treasure Found in City Drainage Ditch
- 1,794 Is Your Drinking Water Dangerous?
- 1,432 More Details About City’s Reorganization Plan
- 1,412 An Inside Look at CSFD’s Fire Station No. 6
- 1,092 What is a Sustainability Coordinator?
- 1,044 Gator fans to Mayor: Can we watch the game with you?
Most searched terms on city’s blog:
- 859 Drinking water
- 422 Sustainability coordinator
- 217 water
- 132 city of college station
- 86 safe drinking water
- 76 what is a sustainability coordinator
- 54 tap water
Top referrers to city’s blog:
What’s it all mean?
All this means that people are searching for, finding and spending time with our information in very different ways than just a few years ago, and that’s exciting to me. Nevertheless, we employ plenty of traditional communication tools, too, and I’ll address those in a future post. If you’d like to join the conversation on our social media, click the buttons at the top right of the blog.
Think we should consider additional methods of reaching you with city-related information? What new blog topics would most interest you? Let me know!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Jay Socol is director of communications for the City of College Station, and is responsible for any sarcastic tweets you might’ve received from the city.
Director | Public Communications