Autumn in the North Cemetery.

Sixty miles west of Boston, Massachusetts there is the small New England town of Sturbridge. Located at the junction of I-90 (The Mass Pike), and I-84 it has become known as the "Crossroads of New England". The town was first settled over 300 years ago, and like other small New England towns it has grown just enough over the years to be in a difficult place today. How do we embrace the future without forgetting how we got to our present? How do we attract the right kind of growth, and maintain who we are? And, what about our culture out here in Central Massachusetts?

These pages will cause one to think about how to protect what we have, our future direction, and how to move on in the very best way.

Those thoughts, and other ramblings, will hopefully inspire more thought, conversation, action, and occasionally a smile...

...seems to be working so far

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Time To Twitter?

Little snippets of information seem to serve most of us very well. I am not sure what this says about us as a culture, but little sound bites, tag lines, Twitter and Facebook updates seem to be all we need to satisfy our craving for current events.

I want to believe it is because as continually evolving human animals we are able to take one or two lines of information , and derive from them the inference, tone, and additional information that is just left unsaid.

We is smart, we is.

I don't want to believe it is because we are all so busy to read more than a few lines, or that our attention spans has been altered by advances such as instant pudding, microwaves, e-mail, Tivo, and not having to rewind a DVD.

Since there seems to be half the planet using one of those internet social networking sites like Twitter, there has to be something good about it to attract, and maintain, all it's members beyond pure curiosity in seeing what Bob is doing at two o'clock in the morning.

I am not sure what that "good" is yet, but maybe it's the satisfaction of just knowing. Knowing anything. So, in light of this cultural phenomena, and the number of people that actually use these sites, I think that the Town of Sturbridge should join Twitter.

Imagine how the town could keep its residents updated on projects, meetings, issues, and crisis's. A simple one or two line entry at, and instantly the information is sent out to computers, cell phones, Blackberries around the town for all to read. Maybe even to one of the public cable channels as well.

Instant information gratification. No waiting for the next edition of the paper to post an announcement. Just type, and post it. No one can say they are out of the loop, or they "didn't know" about something. The possibilities are amazing if used in the right way.

The DPW could post something like, "Water main break on Rt. 131. Detour at Hall Rd. Expect fix by 3PM.", or the Police could post, "Wanted: Late model, white Chevy van. Last seen on Route 20." These are practical, informative, and helpful things that alert us. Doesn't take much to digest them, but will change our behavior. The Zoning Board of Appeals could even post meeting changes, or if a particular variance was granted. The Board of Health could announce a Blood Pressure Clinic at the Senior Center, the DPW could also post that there will be flushing of hydrants on Cedar Street and to be aware of rusty water. A great heads up if it's laundry day. The Recreation Department could announce a change of venue if a Concert on the Common is rained out.

The technology is out there, and making it suit a variety of purposes is something we do very well. Instant information is just not for those addicted to their Crackberries, but also serves as a public service. Something to think on.

Even the Board of Selectmen would find these services useful in announcing what they are up to. "Meeting running late. Ordering pizza. New guy Creamer is buying."

Information is information.

1 comment:

  1. I would never have thought about using Twitter to keep townspeople updated on things in town. What a brilliant idea!! I see Twitter and Facebook added to the email addresses of TV shows like the evening news, so there must be some real value to it. You left out the best part:its free!!!!!!


Anonymous comments not accepted, and will be rejected. Please use your full name. Choose "Name / URL" and enter your name, and your name ONLY. Leave "URL" blank.