Twitter Caught Council

RECEIVED Fri., June 5, 2009

Dear Editor,
    City Web staff will go before City Council June 18 to make the case for rebooting the redesign process. A revised request for proposal will be issued in July. A great article [“The Genius of the Crowd … Source,” News, June 5]. But I think there is one big miss in the reporting: the Twitter activation process that paused City Council in their tracks. When the issue was initially broadcast on Twitter, the Thursday before the Friday vote by the City Council, a group of Tweeters began rallying the troops to demand a halt to the Cignex award. I believe Lani Rosales of Social Media Labs proposed the hashtag #coawebsite that started the cascade of voices and action that put the vote on hold. At this point William Hurley and #OpenAustin or OpenAustin.org did not exist. There is a large number of posts (also predating Hurley's press-aware, press-friendly entrée into the discussion) that outline the situation and what the community response was that killed the Cignex Request for Proposals fiasco. You can find links to those articles on an alternative #COAWebsite site, www.meterthis.net. I encourage everyone to join their voices together on the OpenAustin idea platform, and I hope that the June 18 meeting with the City Council is productive. I look forward to a healthy RFP process once the new criteria is released in July. A lot of people are interested in participating. I know I am.
John McElhenney
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