Coventry has embraced innovation, new ideas and technology for centuries, so adopting social media has come fairly easily to us. The council has been using it to broadcast news and information quickly, cheaply and effectively for several years now. Our Facebook page has more than 21,000 followers and we tweet to more than 4,000 people. Blogging and tweeting about my life as chief executive of the council is now part of my routine.
But making sure we use social media as a new channel for engagement, where we really listen to people as well as talk to them, is a bigger challenge. That's why our experiment with crowd sourcing, carried out with IBM, is one that has lessons for all councils.