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Northern Kentucky University Holds Town Hall Using eTools

I often say that social networking tools are not meant to replace face-to-face interactions and civic organizing; instead they are met to supplement these efforts. NKU provides us with an excellent example of what this can look like. – Cecilia M. Orphan

By Mark Neikirk, Northern Kentucky University

About 100 people gathered at Northern Kentucky University on Tuesday evening (May 10) for a town hall meeting with the new editor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, Carolyn Washburn. But another 40 watched on UStream, some of whom also followed – and contributed to – a live Twitter report on Cover It Live, a newer player on the online scene that is proving to be an exceptional tool for expanding an event’s virtual audience. Ms. Washburn, who came to Cincinnati for the Des Moines Register in January, talked about changes she made in the Enquirer and plans to make, and she sought the audience’s input during an interactive session that used Turning Point “clickers” for real-time audience feedback. By the event’s end, the UStream video was archived on the UStream site. The event is part of an ongoing series of public affairs events hosted by the Northern Kentucky Forum, which is a partnership of NKU’s Scripps Howard Center for Civic Engagement and two other nonpartisan groups, Vision 2015 and Legacy, dedicated to civic and civil dialogue around public policy and current events. The “e” components of the Forum began with marketing (email blasts; Linked In; Facebook; online news websites) and continued during the event itself with Turning Point, Ustream, Twitter (hashtag #cincyeditor), Cover It Live and the ability of smart phone users to send in their questions to the live event.

To view the video from the Town Hall, visit this website.

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