Quito, Ecuador is my home town. You might ask why that title. Well, aprox. 9,200ft is Quito’s elevation over the sea level, making it the second highest capital of the world after La Paz Bolivia. This small but rich town does have a website, administrated by the city council. The biggest problem with this online community is that most of the time is not working (temporarily down). Here you can find all the events organized by the municipality every month, such as cultural, political and sports events. They also have a CONTACT US link, where people can send any type of concerns they have with the city. They can either ask for future events, promote their event or complain about any damage in their neighborhood streets, etc. You can also see many pictures of Quito, us well as toursts interest places around the city. Most of the time you can find announcements from the mayor about the city and what is being done at that time, such as street construction or any future benefits for the community. You can also find a section where you can donate money and see all community service programs that are being held by “fundacion Reina de QUITO”.
In general I think it is a very informative website; although I feel it should give the community a chance to participate, such as a comment section. I feel that it is not enough with the CONTACT US section, because that is not really letting the divergent voices from the community go out. I feel they basically do that because they feel that would take a lot of control from the city council, and probably that would cause them some problems. The other big problem is that the website is down most of the times. They should really find another internet server to solve this problem. On Facebook you can find many QUITO groups, or QUITO TOURISM groups, where people are actually allowed to participate and interact among the community itself and some virtual visitors. Groups of this type are the ones which give space to the community for discussions of certain current conflicts that are happening in the city. For example, on a Facebook group from the Quito community, they were discussing if bullfights tradition should be banned or not. This was a huge debate where you could see all the community discuss about the topic no matter where in the world they were. I find this a very interesting opportunity we now have thanks to the online communities; although as seen in this same groups this can bring problems such as speculation and a lot of insults, making it at many times a disrespectful debate. Here are the links for both the City Council website and Facebook Bullfights discussion group. Enjoy!