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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Our View: Embracing the future

  • The issue: The Leavenworth County Commission has met and discussed the implementation of a Facebook page.
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  • The issue: The Leavenworth County Commission has met and discussed the implementation of a Facebook page.
    Our view: While the commissioners' thorough consideration is admirable, implementing a Facebook page for Leavenworth County doesn't have to be a difficult decision. Such a page provides direct access to constituents and social media use is the wave of the future.
    Adults, businesses, youth, schools, churches and even government entities have come to implement and rely on social media as a valuable tool for direct interaction with desired audiences.
    Leavenworth County doesn't currently have such a page, and the Leavenworth Times recommends the three-member governing body move forward with giving Facebook a chance.
    The newspaper understands some commissioners and county officials may feel a bit out of their realm of knowledge or element when it comes to social media, and for good reason.
    It's a young person's game, to be sure, and it takes getting used to.
    However, Facebook, Twitter, nor any of the other social media outlets are only intimidating at first.
    Experience breeds familiarity, and the newspaper believes county officials, after a short amount of time, would find such a page hugely beneficial. It's also important to note there are numerous people within our county — businesses, consultants, trained professionals — who could assist the county in getting started.
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    As we stated earlier, it's almost a world built on social media today, and the online presence isn't going anywhere.
    It's here to stay. The best time to embrace the future is today, not yesterday.
    Plus, as best we can tell, the county's sole only presence is its website, www.leavenworthcounty.org. A Facebook page just adds one more ability to the county's repertoire of reaching out to the public.
    There are issues, to be sure, to consider with the county implementing Facebook — which county officials have access, who controls the message, can certain inappropriate followers be blocked, and how often are posts made to the page.
    But, the Leavenworth Times believes the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
    Another benefit the commissioners have expressed concern about, but shouldn't — cost. Social media is one of the cheapest projects our governing body can put into play.
    A Facebook page would be particularly beneficial during matters of public importance — outlining the particulars of a new public project, directing county residents on what to do during emergencies, and reminding the public of important upcoming dates, such as elections and polling places.
    The Leavenworth Times encourages county officials to give social media a chance. We believe, after a short time, the prospect will be less intimidating and officials will come to learn what so many other entities have so far — the benefits, of which there are many, outright the detractions, of which there are few.
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