Marika Dobbin The Age
WANT to know what lord mayor Robert Doyle is having for breakfast? Melbourne City Council is recruiting a full-time tweeter on a salary of up to $78,111, plus super, to keep its constituents up-to-date with the council's every machination.
The tweeter, to be known as social media coordinator, will be expected to keep abreast of computing trends and experiment with social media to give exposure to the council's programs and website.
Council chief executive Kathy Alexander said the communications branch had been restructured and the new role would incorporate social networking for the That's Melbourne brand, with more online interaction for the council itself.
The new position of social media coordinator comes as experts debate the impacts on society of smartphones and other social technologies, at a summit being held in Melbourne.
British neuroscientist Susan Greenfield, one of the panelists at this week's Knowledge Cities summit, said those who were over-reliant on smartphones could become addicted to short, shallow interactions and become uncomfortable face-to-face. She said those who used phones to constantly access Twitter and Facebook had a ''dodgy sense of identity'' and were seeking constant reassurance and feedback for everyday experiences.
However, Deloitte Digital's chief executive office Peter Williams said such technologies were better than reading because they were less passive, stimulated wider parts of the brain and allowed quick access to useful information. ''These technologies create a whole new world of knowledge, learning and opportunity,'' he said.
The CSIRO's Dr James Bradfield Moody said smartphones were the ''digital version of you'' and neither good nor bad. ''It is your way of interfacing with the world and it's all about how you use it,'' he said.
Baroness Greenfield and Mr Williams will appear at The Great Brain Debate today at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.