February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 53

breath with Twitter, is really a different vehicle. Facebook has been available to the
general public for about the same time
(public launch in September 2006). But its
student-only roots from 2004 have helped
build a user base of more than 350 million.
Unlike Twitter, you have to " friend " someone on Facebook (and be accepted as a
friend back) in order to be in their network
and participate in group discussions. With
a " community feel, " Facebook is much better at facilitating
a real connection between people and true two-way dialog
(whereas Twitter tends to be a little more one-way and less
personal because it's so public) and creates energy and engagement easily.
Like every medium, Facebook has its place and drawbacks. Most people began using Facebook for personal reasons, so they could have their friends, family, and neighbors
in their network. If a person is " friending " your agency as an
end-user or citizen, it is probably okay to mix it up; but from
agency to agency or within the field of professionals, this may
be more problematic. Kathy Worrell observes, " [Facebook]
has not worked well for discussions. I don't think people like
using it for 'work talk.' LinkedIn is much better for starting
discussion boards. There seems to be a further reach of professionals on LinkedIn-across America and beyond. "
■■  LinkedIn -although it's been around twice as long

(launched in May of 2003), has just a few more users than Twitter at 55 million. But LinkedIn has a much narrower, businessfocused community of users. Where Facebook and Twitter
are great vehicles to connect with the community and citizens
you serve. If you want to engage and drive [members] to your
services and events, LinkedIn is a place where professionals
in the field can connect with each other and exchange ideas
related to the job on discussion boards. Although building a
LinkedIn profile is unlikely to lead directly to more traffic/visitors/revenue, it can facilitate the exchange of innovative ideas
by park and recreation peers-leading to new programs
that do result in new revenue generating programs. You'd be
missing out if you didn't include it on your social media buffet.
■■  Blogging -reached mainstream status by 2004, but had
its roots in " online diaries " about a decade earlier. The blog
has a solid place in social media because of its flexibility and
capacity for interactivity. A blogs reaches people in a different way than the other mediums, so it's got to be used in concert, not instead of.

Tony Hawk
Visits Columbia
Skate Park
By: Rebecca Stidham, Columbia Parks and Recreation

P

rofessional skateboarder Tony Hawk and
nine members of the Birdhouse Skate Team
" tweeted " their way to Columbia, Missouri
to delight fans with a free skateboard demonstration. Remarkably, there were no TV, radio, or
newspaper ads promoting the event. The word got out
to skateboard fans solely through Tony Hawk's Twitter page. Weeks before the event date, prizes were
hidden throughout the United States with clues to their
location given on Twitter. Concealed within the prizes were clues to the location of the free exhibition
event. As fans found the prizes, they would tweet on
Twitter about what they found. It was not until the day
before the October 17, 2009, event that the following
tweet was posted, revealing merely the state to which
Tony and his Birdhouse Team were headed:
	
11:25AM Oct 16th

" Here we com MO. Skater takeover of Southwest
Airlines. "
(Photo of Birdhouse team in airport was posted.)
And, less than 24 hours before the event, this tweet
was posted:
	
3:49PM Oct 16th

" ...Join us tomorrow at CoMO skatepark for a
demo at 2pm. Free pizza for earlybirds. "
Tweets from the morning of the event:
	
7:37AM Oct 17th

" If the clues weren't obvious enough, #THTH
ends today at Cosmo Skatepark in Columbia
MO. 2pm Birdhouse demo and free pizza from @
skakespizza. "
	
11:40AM Oct 17th
" Whatup Columbia! We're here, it's cold (but
sunny). Shakespeare's provided 100 pizzas, come
get some. It's on...skating in 20. "

" Some people who use Facebook and Twitter want the
information as soon as you post it, " observes Dan Crandall,
Marketing Specialist of Events and Promotions at Cleveland
[Ohio] Metroparks. " Yet most blog followers like to read
when they get around to it. "
This is where a tool such as " RSS " feeds can be valuable
in balancing the " push-pull " of communication and provide
some relief from the email epidemic.
■■  RSS -(Really Simple Syndication) is a great way for users

With less than 24 hours notice of the event location,

to choose the content that hits their inbox. RSS feeds can pull

Continued on page 52

	

www.NRPA .ORG

February 2010

Parks & Recreation	

51



February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of February 2010 - Parks & Recreation

February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 1
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 2
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 3
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 4
February 2010 - Parks & Recreation - 5
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