Facebook town hall well received
December 9, 2011
WHEELER ARMY AIRFIELD, Hawaii -- U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii hosted its second social media-based town hall, Nov. 30, to address community concerns in a format community members are familiar with: Facebook.
The Facebook format replaced both in-person town halls and televised town halls due to lack of participation in both venues, and the format will continue to be a quarterly event.
"We want to ensure our garrison customers, including Soldiers, family members, retirees and civilians, have a voice in our actions," said Col. Douglas Mulbury, commander, USAG-HI. "We have many venues in place to encourage this dialogue. The Facebook town hall encourages interaction in a way most community members are more comfortable with."
More than 110 guests RSVP'd their attendance from the U.S. Army-Hawaii community. They asked 71 initial questions and followed up with more than 475 interactions, including questions, comments and "likes."
Hot topics covered pet concerns, housing issues and security on post.
Questions that were unable to be addressed during the hour-and-a-half event are being staffed and will be addressed on the page shortly.
Garrison representatives from the Directorate of Emergency Services; Island Palm Communities; the Directorate of Public Works; and the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation -- and its School Liaison Office and Army Community Service -- were on hand to address the issues presented in cyberspace.
The garrison's command group, including Mulbury; Jim Duttweiler, deputy commander; and Command Sgt. Maj. Robert Williamson, senior enlisted leader, also logged onto computers to answer queries.
Tripler Army Medical Center, its Schofield Barracks Health Clinic, the Directorate of Installation Safety, the Directorate of Logistics and the Directorate of Human Resources also received a few queries during the event and are finalizing their responses.
Aside from a few computer quirks that added adrenaline bursts, the town hall was deemed a success from USAG-HI subject matter experts and community participants, according to comments posted on the event page.
"The beauty of the Facebook town hall is that anyone with a Facebook account can participate, no matter where they are -- at home, in a cubicle or at a soccer game," said Dennis Drake, director, USAG-HI Public Affairs. "They have the opportunity to converse directly with the people who help make decisions about on-post programs and services."
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