Facebook adoption really hasn’t happened much at the local government offices in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania since January of last year. The County has a Facebook page and just a few townships and boroughs have active ones. There seem to be more local government recreation program and police department Facebook pages than there are actual full local government entity Facebook pages. We found just two new Cumberland County local governments that have new Facebook pages that we didn’t find last year.
And we can’t include the spaceholder “pages” that Facebook generates from Wikipedia for local government entities. Frankly, between the new clumsy Facebook search interface and the content spamming that Facebook is practicing with these spaceholders, it’s more confusing to search on Facebook than it needs to be.
Clearly there is a big disconnect here. It’s not like local government is not looking for cost-efficient ways to provide information – they’re counting dollars just like everyone else. It’s not like Facebook doesn’t have a lot of users, and it’s not like Facebook isn’t easy to set up a page for a government entity.
But the following of pages (the Likes) are not impressive when you realize the populations involved. It’s also true that some of these local government entities do not have web sites, either, so the staff time or technology capability issues may also be involved.
Or maybe, just maybe, it’s that Facebook doesn’t really offer the efficiency that “free” and “eyeballs” seem to imply.
Cumberland County (871 Likes – up 209 in a year)
East Pennsboro Township
Lower Allen Township (422 Likes – up 185 in a year)
Lower Frankford Township
Lower Mifflin Township
North Middleton Township
North Newton Township
Silver Spring Township
South Middleton Township (549 Likes – up 149 in a year)
South Newton Township
Southampton Township (NEW! 45 Likes)
Upper Allen Township (167 Likes – up 115 in a year)
Upper Frankford Township
Upper Mifflin Township
West Pennsboro Township