Social media impacting communication in Helena

Published 4:58 pm Monday, January 28, 2013

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

It was on Helena’s popular blog, No Sleep In Helena, where Hewy (aka city Councilman Hal Woodman) recently made the comment that he finds himself enjoying Tumblr more than Facebook as of late.

Personally, I have become quite fond of Facebook for keeping up with friends and family, old and new, over the past couple of years.

The morning I set out to write about such changes, the universe pitched in some surprises of its own. AT&T was down all over the Southeast, meaning that, at my house we were living like pioneers — no Internet, no television, no landline telephone.

I realized I would have to (gasp) drive to the Helena library to write this column.

Woodman has been revamping the Helena city website to make it better connected to mobile and social media. He also commented that the increased use of mobile devices (cellphones and tablets) to access the Internet is changing websites as well as our daily habits.

“On my blog, 20 percent were from mobile devices yesterday,” he told me. “Two years ago, just 3 people used a mobile device.”

Woodman estimates half of Helena adults in Helena use Facebook but adds, “I promise you that at least 95 percent of the teenagers in Helena have some type of social media account.”

“I think businesses are seeing that they must have a social media page and they need to interact daily with people on it,” he said. “I think there has been a shift happening with social media sites. At first it was young people on Twitter and Facebook and the grown-ups followed, but now the younger generation is spending more time on Tumblr and makes fun of people who are on Facebook.”

“Eventually those teenagers and college students will be adults who have grown up in Tumblr format. I think we will see more websites like Weheartit, Pinterest and Tumblr, which are also perfectly designed for mobile use.”

Check out the City of Helena Alabama Facebook page and note that council president Cris Nelson is also using her own Facebook page to keep residents abreast of council news and happenings pertaining to city progress.


Laura Brookhart can be reached by email at