No one needs any training to do Facebook. It is intuitive and easy. So no one will need to learn about New Town's own social network. After registering, it is just as easy.
Then why not use Facebook itself?
Because fake news (and other objectionable or indecent remarks / comments/ posts) can be removed by NKDA. No need to go on long arguments and pleas. For example, a very old and fake photo is going viral in social media saying that a bridge in New Town near Axis Mall has developed cracks. I'd been to see he spot immediately when it came to my notice along with Arup Ghosh, General Manager (Engineering) three days ago. The building at the back was now completely different, there was no crack, only an expansion joint that is there on all such bridge. The very old picture is being circulated and one can do nothing but cry "fake news" as a "comment". But WhatsApp and Facebook "shares" keep on pouring in.
For connecting to New Town, there is already a SMS service. One can just send an sms with the word "Newtown" to 92300 6000 and one gets registered autmatically to get regular updates on the events in New Town. But this is a one-way communication: citizens' comments can't be sent by text messages to this number.
To supplement the connection with citizens by technology, therefore, Minister Firhad Hakim today launched the New Town City Connect, a Social Network site that enables Hidco and NKDA to touch people's lives, exchange comments and build a community feel by 'liking' each other's posts and responses. To begin with, it does not have graphic support but I think we will be able to evolve slowly so as to add further features.
I remember how I used to run a blog called "The CEO's Blog" when I was the Chief Electoral Officer. Hundreds of election officials would get a gist of the Commissions's latest instructions through the blog and pose queries that all other officers would see and learn together. I'd even seen some AEROs take prints of the Blog posts - informal as they were - and try to impose codes of conduct upon candidates' agents. So the New Town City Connect social network will also be a tool to spread awareness about the importance of being green and clean, of being sustainable and inclusive and of caring for the old and poor.
This is what we put out on the write-up today for the audience: New Town City connect is an online social media platform which offers a seamless inter and intra office digital communication including the non official stakeholders. It follows a 360 degrees approach. Digitally empowered it seeks to leverage the social media platform to assess the needs and aspirations of the various stakeholders of this city. This is in addition to the existing platforms like m-mobile app, website, mass SMS gateway, existing social media interface pages etc.
The link is newtownconnect.in . Here is a screen shot:
And here are two pics from today afternoon's pics: