December 1, 2011

Tweet Beat: CU neighborhoods use Facebook to engage communities

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By Michelle Hagopian/For CU-CitizenAccess — With so many neighborhoods in Champaign County, it can be difficult to track how residents communicate and reach out to others.

What is evident in social media, however, is that quite a few CU neighborhoods use Facebook to get the job done.

While most neighborhoods associations or local groups create Facebook pages, the Wilber Heights neighborhood was trickier to locate because it is an actual profile that users must “friend” in order to gain full access.

With 252 friends*, the profile is popular and has a few Google map photos of the area. There are also dozens of older photos, presumably of residents who live in or are from the Wilber Heights neighborhood.

Taking another direction, “The 5th & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign” is a Facebook page organized by the Champaign County Health Care Consumers.

This particular page, according to the group’s mission, “is dedicated to protecting the health of the neighborhood and the rights of the community in relation to the toxic site owned by Ameren, located at 5th & Hill Streets in Champaign.”

The page has 35 likes*, but hasn’t posted since late October. The campaign posts links to related articles, creates events and shares calls to action for those wishing to help in the community.

Salem Baptist Church Champaign” is another group reaching out to neighbors on Facebook.

The page has 138 likes* and is frequently updated. Statuses range from Bible verses to reminders about church events and newsletters. Mostly it seems the church uses the page to spread inspiration and faith to its followers.

Interested to see if your neighborhood has a social media presence? Do a quick Facebook or Google search and explore what’s out there.  

*Numbers as of Tues., Nov. 29.


About our Tweet Beat: 

Michelle Hagopian is a journalism graduate student in the College of Media working with the CU-CitizenAccess.org team this semester and follows the social media scene in Champaign-Urbana.

She reports on how the community is using social media, specifically Twitter and Facebook, so that users can get an idea of what different groups are talking about.

She also looks at different software to collect and analyze tweets and ask for advice and ideas from the community.

Contact her at hagopian.michelle@gmail.com