Isle of Wight Council has seen a huge number of unique visitors to its website, and also a new Facebook page, as residents logged on to find the latest service information during the adverse weather.
On Thursday 2 December alone, more than 30,000 unique visitors logged on to www.iwight.com, creating over 115,000 page views in a single day, while by Friday 3 December, almost 3000 people had become ‘fans’ of the Facebook page dedicated to service updates.
The local authority published everything from school and road closures to event cancellations across both sites, as well as informing local media.
Following on from January’s adverse weather, where at times the council’s website was slow due to the sheer volume of visitors, the local authority sought to make improvements to the way residents could access online service updates. With many people now on Facebook, the council set up a dedicated page which quickly proved popular.
A holding page was also set up on www.iwight.com allowing people to go directly to the relevant information by simply clicking on a link.
Within minutes of a school closure or service update being confirmed, the information was available online and data shows at no point was the performance of www.iwight.com affected, meaning people could log on and access the site as normal.
Tim Hunter-Henderson, Isle of Wight Council Cabinet member responsible for customer service said “Following the snow in January, the council was even better prepared for the adverse weather this time and there were many ways people could access information. People need to get the latest updates and we have a duty to ensure messages get out as soon as possible.
“The online services again proved extremely popular with the vast majority of people relying on iwight.com for updates. It is also pleasing that Facebook proved its worth as this was a new service we used and we will continue to use in future as it is clearly well appreciated.
“I also want to thank the local media for their efforts. They worked very closely with the council’s communications team during the adverse weather and within minutes of the council publishing information, they had it on their websites and on many occasions it was broadcast live on-air. It’s times like these that everyone pulls together.”
The council will continue to update its website and Facebook pages when necessary during winter.