City of Chicago embraces social media


It’s 2011 and the City of Chicago is already jumping on board with new trends and embracing social media and technology to accomplish city and business tasks.


The City of Chicago now allows everyone to connect to the vast network of Facebook “Pages” through social media on the city’s Web page. Example Pages include Mayor Richard M. Daley’s page (take it or leave it), the Chicago Cultural Center, Chicago Park District and Chicago Public Library. Along with Twitter links for the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (with real-time updates), and official city Flickr and foursquare accounts, the list there is comprehensive and contains useful information.


In another example, at a recent Adobe User Group gathering last week on Monday, December 20th, the focus of the group was a showcase of new Flash projects created with the platform.

Among the presenters were members of the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning (CMAP), who created a comprehensive system of key indicators for measuring and tracking regional quality of life over time in the seven-county metropolitan Chicago region. The Web site can be seen at, and what makes it unique is that is was built in Flash Builder and heavily resembles an app functionality in that it allows a user to search through metropolitan regions and find rare statistics about each, including different information about counties along with a mapping system which loads after a search as a visual aid.

The Web site is a heavily data driven Web site with unique information and stats about the city that would bee hard to find anywhere else. Feel free to visit it and give it a try. Since it acts and feels like an app, I asked one of the developers if the CMAP had plans to turn the Web site into a mobile version. He replied that it was already done, and soon to be released for iPhone. It seems the CMAP is also on top of mobile media trends as well, which is nice to know.


The City of Chicago Treasurer’s Office also announced recently that a Social Media contest will be coming soon on their Web site. Previously, Treasurer Stephanie D. Neely made a news post here that explained that small business owners will be able to participate in a contest which partners with Constant Contact to use social media and e-mail marketing for promoting their business.

The contest will feature free expert workshops, free social media building skills information, and over $10,000 of value – in cash prizes and free Constant Contact accounts for top winners.

I recently received an e-mail from the Treasurer’s office explaining that on January 5th is a currently filled first event where the details of the contest will be given in full. If “Media Tech Connection” can get access to this event, the details will be given here. 

Either way, if you are part of a small business in Chicago then you should keep an eye on the Treasurer’s Office Web site for further details soon to get in on this contest!

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