The second idea from the MMA’s annual convention is the technology from myGrapevine, which was created last year for Weston to allow the town communication to better get to the residents, and for the residents to be able to filter out all but just what they want to receive.
myGrapevine allows many authors/writers from different town and school departments to write the messages, but also allows the residents to only subscribe only those topics that interest them. For example, one could sign up to only get the messages about the Medfield High School, the Board of Health, and the DPW, and not all the rest of the town departments. Delivery can be by SMS (text messages), Facebook, Twitter, or email. Residents can opt to receive messages as they are written, consolidated in a daily or weekly summaries, or only in urgent situations. Customized daily summaries are available, with the new messages, event lists for the day, and reminders.
This from their website – http://mygrapevine.org –
myGrapevine provides smaller towns with the communication infrastructure they need to keep their citizens informed.
myGrapevine is a web-based service, so pretty much anyone can access it. Town residents set up a free account and identify the topics in which they’re interested (say, everything about third and fifth grades, and also environmental conservation). Staff from the schools, the town government and from town organizations classify their messages by topic.
And myGrapevine makes sure every message gets to the right group of people – via email, text message, even Twitter or Facebook.
The cost for Medfield to subscribe would be $3,000/year. That’s a lot of communication bang for the buck, both for the town government and for our residents.