I’m not talking about the old American Express commercials with Karl Malden. I’m talking about our obsession with our mobile devices and how they are only a few feet from us at all times.
Mobile devices are changing the way we live, from how we share information, to the places we go and even to the way we prefer to communicate. Technical advances in wireless broadband give us all the power of the internet at our fingertips anytime, anywhere. In a recent Pew Internet and American Life Project report on mobile technology, 46% of all American adults own a smartphone and most use their devices to go online.
Mobile apps tie directly in with our social networking sites and allow all of us to share and/or “check-in” from our current location. This “current location” could be in your community. Communities should embrace the mobile app market, which can allow for direct communication with citizens and visitors to highlight parks, downtowns, and events.
There are a number of apps, such as SeeClickFix and App-Order.com, where citizens can report and get neighborhood issues fixed. This is a powerful tool for creating citizen engagement. Adding mobile applications to a community’s arsenal of communications, creates a better social connection with citizens, allowing citizens and municipalities to form a true partnership.