Update (Tuesday, 9 p.m.): Fridley IT Manager Jeff Erickson confirmed tonight that the new @CityofFridley Twitter account is no hoax: It's his doing. But the account will stay dormant for now, he said via email:
Yes, it was me. I set it up, along with a couple of Facebook pages, this morning.
For now, I did this mainly to reserve the name space, but I believe the city could put it to good use for citizen communications just as other cities have done. A lot of internal discussion needs [to] take place before it could go live.
Sorry to take away one of life's little mysteries :-).
Update (Tuesday, 5 p.m.): Fridley City Manager William Burns said he was not aware that there was a new Twitter account claiming to be the official feed from the City of Fridley.
Who is behind @CityofFridley Twitter feed? "I have no idea," Burns said via email, although he said it was possible a staff member signed up without his knowledge.
Whoever it is has not responded to a query about his or her identity sent via Twitter Tuesday morning.
And while the account has attracted a handful of followers during the day, it still hasn't been generating any tweets.
A hoax? Maybe. Someone created a fake City of Northfield Twitter account in 2010.
One clue: The new Fridley account is following Jim Erickson. Jim Erickson is Fridley's IT manager. (A belated message is into him now to confirm.)
Original post (Tuesday, noon): The City of Fridley started a Twitter account Tuesday. Its self-description reads:
Official Twitter feed of the City of Fridley, MN. Est. 1949.
As of noon on Tuesday, @CityofFridley had not yet tweeted.
Other Cities on Twitter
Nearby city governments with Twitter accounts include Blaine and Coon Rapids.
Blaine was a relatively early adopter, having established a Twitter account in April 2009. Since then, @BlaineMinnesota has tweeted more that 2,300 times and has more than 500 followers.
Coon Rapids started its Twitter feed in February 2011 and has 27 tweets and 28 followers so far.
Both Blaine and Coon Rapids appear to use their accounts mainly for outgoing announcements. Neither city follows many other Twitter accounts: Blaine follows eight others, while Coon Rapids follows zero.
(@CityofFridley is following one account so far.)
Since starting its Twitter account in February 2009, @AnokaCounty has sent more than 900 tweets, gaining more than 1,330 followers and following nearly 800 other accounts.
Public Information Manager Martha Weaver is the person behind @AnokaCounty. So far, @CityofFridley hasn't responded to an inquiry via Twitter about who is responsible for the city's account.
No Monopoly on 'Fridley'
Fridley faces an uphill, intercontinental battle to establish the city's name on Twitter.
The highest profile "Fridley" account is simply @Fridley. It belongs to James Fridley, who casts a long shadow across the Twitterscape: more than 3,500 followers and an astonishing 65,385 tweets. But because he's in Australia, he tends to tweet while the City of Fridley sleeps, and vice versa.