There has been a lot of noise lately calling on local authorities to embrace social media. Clearly this is only useful if it’s an effective way to engage with citizens, and if the authority learns from it to improve that engagement. A number of tools can be used to measure this, but now there’s one that does it for them.
Council Monitor (currently in beta) scours the internet to find what people are saying about your local authority. It shows at a glance the topics that those people are discussing and how positive or negative those discussions are, making it easier to monitor and compare the reputation of councils online.
This is an interesting tool because it allows anyone to see this information for free, and for a fee the councils themselves can fine-tune the data to strengthen the quality of the feedback they are receiving.
So the information is at once transparent (councils can’t hide behind rhetoric quite so easily and are encouraged to engage better) and useful (councils are given valuable data on which to build their engagement strategies).