Friday, 27 February 2009

Mike Freer dumps partner by text

It's been noted by Barnet bloggers that Mike Freer has begun posting reports of long-ago meetings on his Leader Listens blog (aka Has Mike Freer Got Old News for You), probably in a desperate attempt to redress the serious lack of content (to use the jargon) so far.

At least he had the decency this week to apologise for his tardiness. At the start of a post about 'Leader Listens - Finchley Church End 2 October 2008', posted on 24 February 2009, he said:

[Apologies for the delay in this post - I am catching up and will endeavour to post feedback on events far sooner after each Leader Listens event once I have]

I visited Finchley Church End in early October last year to speak to the residents about any issues or suggestions they had about their neighbourhood... [etc.]
At the Cabinet Overview and Scrutiny Committee on Monday 23 February, Freer was invited to assess the usefulness of the council's much vaunted use of social media (Flickr, Twitter, Leader Listens, etc). His enthusiasm was luke-warm, to say the least, but he boasted (half-jokingly) about his prolific output on Twitter.

Councillor Alan Schneiderman referred Freer to an article in the Sunday Times that was scathing about the sort of people that use Twitter.

I don't honestly think that Mike Freer wants to use Twitter, it's just that the council (or someone in it) has decided to go in for all of this social media stuff. Unfortunately, it just isn't an appropriate use of the council leader's time, I believe, to be posting inane, maximum 140 character messages to whichever people are sad (or vengeful) enough to follow what he is doing. And it can tempt him to do crass things like, in my view, dumping the Local Government Association by text! This is particularly egregious behaviour, since they recently gave him a page to boast about Barnet's social media revolution.

Let's stop trying to get down with the kids, because it'll soon only be 40-year-olds who'll be using these toys, anyway. We might not have the wit to invent this stuff, but we can, most of us, work out how to use it pretty quickly. Frankly, there are many, many more grown-up ways for the council to communicate important policies and decisions to the residents, and it is this that they are failing to do properly. See the next post on the 2009-2010 budget for a burning example!

No comments: