Around Town | February 3, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 3, 2012

Around Town

SOCIAL HYPE ... Palo Alto is no stranger to social media, boasting a host of start-ups and, until recently, the industry colossus, Facebook. Now, City Hall is getting in on the fun. Last month, the city launched its partnership with the company rBlock, which provides social-media services on a block-by-block basis. City Manager James Keene said the city has been talking to rBlock for close to two years on developing a pilot program of a "geographic web-based communication program" in several local neighborhoods. In late January, the program kick-started in the neighborhoods of Greenmeadow, Old Palo Alto and University South. Keene said the platform allows residents within a neighborhood area to share and manage information and to set their own privacy controls. It also allows the city to target information to specific neighborhoods. These will include press releases, events, public-service announcements, construction updates, street closures, emergency-preparedness events and information about police incidents. "We're looking forward to working in partnership and test-driving this new communication module for both the city and the community," Keene told the City Council Monday.

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