City to move official Web site to Facebook

07/30/2011
By

TOKYO (majirox news) — The city of Takeo in Saga prefecture announced July 29 that it will shut down its official website and move most of its contents onto Facebook from Aug. 1 to allow for greater interaction between officials and residents.

Takeo officials said the city will move to Facebook because its existing site made it difficult for officials to share information while the popular social media site (Facebook) allowed residents to provide opinions such as using the “Like” function.

Takeo Mayor Keisuke Hiwatashi, who chairs the Twitter and Facebook national academic societies, was behind the move and has encouraged active use of SNS, including issuing city officials with a Twitter account, according to city spokesman Naoyuki Miyaguchi.

“There were some doubts at first when we were thinking of changing to Facebook because it could only be accessed by those who had an account,” Miyaguchi said.”For this reason, there was some opposition as it would limit access to city information for some citizens. But since we were considering the shift, Facebook changed its rules to make pages viewable to anybody, and from that point on it was a go.”

City officials expect few problems with the move. Its existing site will continue to post some information but otherwise redirect citizens to its Facebook page. It will also set up a support service run by a group that Mayor Hiwatashi operates and will encourage residents to organize Facebook-centered events of their own.

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