Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Oh Summer Is Almost Over, Fall Accents, Town’s Chaotic Communication

Climatologists say that we are in for a nice warm fall, and I am glad. I picked up some little accents of fall the other day walking Nokiidaa Trail boardwalk, and here they are. Chaotic communication – what is that? Something that I think is worth writing about. Read on.

Yellow leaves, Nokiidaa Trail Link
Fine grass, Nokiidaa Trail Link
Ripe berries, Nokiidaa Trail Link

I am uncertain if Chickadees are considered fall birds. While I do observe them throughout the summer, their presence seems to be more pronounced in the fall. This could be attributed to their small size, which may cause them to blend in with other birds during the summer months. Despite this, Chickadees do remain with us during the winter season.

Chickadees, Nokiidaa Trail Link

In an attempt to improve communication with residents, the Town of Aurora recently implemented various social media platforms including Blogger, Twitter, Flickr, and Facebook. However, the execution of this idea has been less than ideal. The chaotic nature of these communication channels has left much to be desired.

Allow me to conduct a dissection here.

Blogger. To maintain a blog on a regular basis requires dedication, time, and resources. To date, blogging (last post on May 16th, 2011) and the Blogger logo from the town’s website were phased out. I must give credit to the writer or whoever was maintaining the blog. It was well-written and professional; however, some posts were just repeats of things we already know and too long. But there was some good substance there.

Town of Aurora Twitter Account

Twitter is a platform that has achieved immense success, and I find myself puzzled as to why. Perhaps its simplicity is the key to its popularity. However, upon examining our Town’s Twitter account, I am met with chaos. If taxpayer money is being used to post random tweets, I believe it is time to either shut it down or bring some organization to it. Receiving a tweet about an earthquake on top of the numerous other media outlets reporting the same news adds no value. There is a lack of substance in the content being shared.

Town of Aurora Facebook Account

Facebook. I don’t know, it just seems like overkill. Another place to visit to find out more about Aurora events, such as the Nokiidaa Trail opening in Aurora, Ontario (Sept. 7, 2011), which was only for Town officials. I guess they made it happen and got it to work, so they deserve the ceremony. Just an idea though, wouldn’t it be nice to involve Aurora residents? After all, Aurora is one big team – what happened to celebrating together?

Returning to Facebook discussion, I am trying to understand the purpose of Facebook, and I cannot. The information again is random.

Flickr. Someone gave up on it on June 8th, 2011. No comment.

Not to forget there is also the town’s newsletter and the website.

More thoughts…

Four social networks (one out, the Blogger; one not active, the Flickr), a newsletter, and the Town’s website – all feeding just random information. Do I have that much time to visit all? No. A blog is capable of accommodating all – the news, the photos, the videos, and anything else that can be categorized accordingly. But blogging is hard to do, so the town of Aurora chooses an easy way out – tweeting, Face-booking, and Flickering. The big question is, who is maintaining all this nuisance? The current communication scheme has no added value for the residents of Aurora. Even with that many platforms, there is still a lack of communication and professionalism.

So here are just a few more thoughts…

The Aurora communication department can set up a single blog on their website. Assign simple categories such as news, upcoming events, notices, and other useful categories. The process must be carefully planned out to ensure the effective flow of information and proper categorization of information. The information must also be in line with the information posted in the Banner and the Newsletter. Residents will benefit by accessing one source. They can easily subscribe to blog feeds.

Reporting on activities in our Town should be left to the local media such as The Auroran or The Banner. Let them do the talking and keep them in business by attracting more readers. The social networking platforms are not for the Town of Aurora, and they do not add value to our taxed dollar.

The solo opening of the Nokiidaa Trail link by the town of Aurora officials sparked all the above thoughts about the whole communication scheme in the Town. I would like to thank Evelyn Buck for providing an informative answer “It Was Not A Grand Openingto the comment I made on her blog regarding the opening on September 7th, 2011.

Communication must have a purpose, and if there is none, then there will be chaos.

Evelyn Buck – Our Town and Its Business: It Was Not A Grand Opening

LivingInAurora.ca has left a new comment on your post “I Have An Appointment”

Was that a closed door ceremony Evelyn? That suck’s that I didn’t even know about the grand opening for which I was keen to attend. With so many platforms to communicate especially this year when town aurora started blogger, twitter and Facebook, and the newsletter which I subscribe – I have seen nothing. Well it is not just a customer service (re Chris pipe post) but also communication issues.

No, it was not a closed door ceremony. I can’t give you any particulars about how the opening was organized. Only that the town’s communication division was in charge. I was informed by e-mail but I was up and down and round about before I found the location of the event.

Seemed most of the guests were officials from the towns linked by the trail. Aurora, Newmarket and East Gwillimbury. It was a sparse crowd.

I think the best could be yet to come. An event should be planned for a Sunday when everybody can be there and participate in a hike, or a bike ride or a run or whatever as far as they want to go between here and East Gwillimbury.

We should have t-shirts, baseball caps, back packs, coffee mugs or water bottles or all of the above to commemorate the event. Some enterprising business in town should pick up on the idea. There should be flags and jaunty music to accompany children running and skipping. Completion of the project is a triumph over adversity and I’m not kidding.

The saga stretches from 1999. I don’t know all the details but enough to understand it’s nothing short of amazing it finally got done. I understand a report is coming from Leisure Services with a full financial accounting. And that’s a good news story as well.

Things are looking up. Way up.

I think a Fall hike from here to East Gwillimbury might be a great way to initiate and introduce this exciting new asset to the community. A picture of the Pied Piper of Hamlin springs to mind. I can imagine the earthy smell of Fall with leaves carpeting the ground.

But I may be mixing that up with the little ceremony to be held at the Case Woodlot. That’s happening within days as well.

The town has acquired the remainder of the woodlot out to Bathurst Street. That too is a good news story. The woodlot is completely natural. The ground is carpeted with Trilliums in Spring. I think we need to give thought to how it might be enjoyed without altering its character.

Maybe a meandering path with benches in special places for bird watchers, photographers and artists to sit quietly for a while and watch.

We have the Oak Ridges Moraine Trail from North to south in the area. So we don’t need another one. When Seneca College first opened on the Eaton estate on Dufferin, snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing were offered and well received. Maybe we could have the ruins of a castle in the woods and create our own legends. Well why not. Where’s the harm. We all need a little magic in our lives.


Christopher Watts said: September 14, 2011 at 13:01

I’m glad I’m not the only one struggling with the town’s inept social media implementations. I agree with most if not all of your points and will be making a post on my recent experiences shortly. Perhaps we’re both expecting more than the manager responsible for the town’s communications department is capable of. After all his past work history lists him as a reporter for the Aliston Herald. Why the town isn’t outsourcing this important component of their communications strategy is beyond me.

Dick said: September 14, 2011 at 13:10

Hi Anna, I see you are still posting, I wonder why you left your other blogs? I don’t post much also, it seems can’t find something new to show. Anyway I hope all is well there, greetings from Texel.

Anna Lozyk Romeo said: September 14, 2011 at 16:10

Chris, I really think that they missed the whole concept of communication media, plus the organization is terrible. They did not have a plan. I tell you, there are some personal tweets and Facebook pages that look more professional than our town’s. Yes, it is beyond me too, they don’t have the right person. I also hate the fact, not sure if it was in The Auroran or you wrote, how much money the town spent in the past for the website. Now they moved to a new domain, and for a while, they were running two in parallel. I was getting confused when I finally realized what was going on. Wouldn’t it be easier to transfer and test, and then launch, instead of wasting time updating both? Terrible, terrible. I guess I was really upset that day that I was not invited to the party, lol, the trail link opening. I wish that town officials stop running the pyramid-type management. I like the one-level management to include Aurora residents.

Anna Lozyk Romeo said: September 14, 2011 at 16:13

Hey Dick it is nice to see you here. Well I decided to stay closer to our town in blogging world. I take Matthew everywhere, and we are having lots of good time exploring every corner here. I am not giving up yet on the other blog, just timing is not allowing me to manage them all regularly. Thanks for the motivation, I will post something new soon on my only photo blog. Greetings from Aurora, Canada Stay in touch, I will visit soon too.


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