Utah city joins the Twitter craze

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CENTERVILLE -- There's now an easier, faster way to find out what's going on in one Utah city: just Twitter it and read its tweets. Centerville city leaders have found it very advantageous to jump on board the Twitter craze.

When Centerville IT manager Lisa Bednarz came up with her big idea, she knew she'd have to explain what she was even talking about. Soon, other city leaders got on board.

Now, Bednarz is hoping Centerville residents will too, because all of it is really for them. "We do this so we can get the word out to the public in a timely manner," she explained.

Twitter is an Internet-based, social-networking Web site. Basically, in quick, short messages you let people know what you're up to.

Bednarz took it a step further by posting messages regarding what the city is up to, like when meetings are, reminders to set your clock ahead one hour and when baseball registrations are. "I just decided to go with it and get the word out," she said.

Maybe the city's best use for Twitter is if there's ever an emergency or some type of disaster and they have to get information to people quickly. Twitter just might be the fastest way to do that.

"I think for government, it fits very well because it doesn't get in so much of the debate and blog, but to get information out quickly to people," said assistant city manager Blaine Lutz.

Of course, the trick is to get people to sign up for the free service. Right now, just a few dozen are, but Bednarz says it's growing. "We expect by the end of the year we'll have quite a few followers," she said.

Centerville is one of the first state, county, or city municipalities to use Twitter in this way. If you'd like to sign up, CLICK HERE.

E-mail: acabrero@ksl.com

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Alex Cabrero


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