(Seattle, June 1, 2011 /Dotgov)-- "The City of Enid has a vision for the future that is bigger than one might expect from a mid-size city in Northwest Oklahoma (population just under 50,000). Ongoing economic development efforts — such as the construction of a new Events Center and the renovation of a Convention Hall downtown — give evidence of Enid’s commitment to community growth. Additionally, the city has shown a forward-thinking enthusiasm for Gov 2.0 methods, using interactive and collaborative online tools to connect with citizens. Enid maintains a sleek website in addition to six FaceBook pages, four Twitter streams, YouTube and Flickr feeds, location-based citizen reporting of community issues, and a live chat feature on their website."
Signing up for YouTown was the logical next step for Enid. The platform has enabled the city to provide all this online data in a mobile format, in addition to helpful maps and descriptions of municipal services. Citizens have appreciated the chance to stay up-to-date while on-the-go, and many are eagerly awaiting functionality for the Android OS (coming soon…)
Why they use it:
Derrick Silas, web developer for Enid, represented his city at the Gov2.0a conference in Oklahoma City several weeks ago. When asked why he chose to sign up for YouTown, Derrick said he was determined to help Enid become “a leader” among the agencies that are learning how technology can help improve government functions and communications.
Leaders in Enid are dedicated to involving citizens in the governing process “by any means necessary,” and YouTown provides that interaction in a form that people already use often — the mobile device. “YouTown allows us to be on the forefront of government mobile technology,” commented Derrick. “It allows Enid to maximize its dedication to providing current and prospective citizens, visitors, and businesses a means of two-way communication with the city.”
Why they like it:
“I love the app,” says Derrick, mentioning how easy it was to insert RSS feeds from the city website into the News and Event sections of YouTown. “I don’t have to do anything with those feeds on YouTown — they just update themselves,” he said. These streams keep citizens and visitors updated on everything from water line construction projects to Historic Preservation Commission meetings, and everything in between.
In a word, YouTown is mobile government made simple. Since it supports open-data tools (i.e. RSS, iCalendar, KML) that many agencies are already using for publishing local information online, the step to mobile government is easy.
Administrators in Enid are pleased with YouTown’s functionality as a platform, enabling the publication of data from many departments within the city. The Visitors’ Bureau is excited about the aspect of using YouTown for tourism purposes: visitors to the city can view details about upcoming events and local attractions without worrying about brochure-ware — even the maps are located right inside YouTown!
Maps, in fact, are one of the YouTown features that Enid is really rocking. They’ve grouped their maps into categories that make it easier to “browse” the city geographically. Visiting Enid or wondering what to do on a Saturday afternoon? Pull up the map labeled “Family Fun in Enid” and discover a water park, golf courses, planetarium, country club, bowling, speedway, etc. You can also check out the maps of local “Dining” and “Shopping” options. Getting out for a night on the town? Take your pick from the 10 different clubs, bars, and hot spots on the map called “Nightlife.” For everyday needs, Enid has also published maps pinpointing local schools, fire stations, and lodging. Citizens and tourists will all benefit from the convenience of having these maps waiting for them at the literal tap of a fingertip.
. . . (Article, Courtesy of Dotgovcom, June 1, 2011)