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January 4, 2011
Oil, and the Web, in the Whittier Hills
 
 A proposal to drill for oil in the hills of Whittier, California, has generated opposing websites that show how the Web has become an important factor in getting information out. Residents opposed to drilling call the campaign by the Matrix Oil Co. "public relations," while Matrix calls it an "informational campaign." However you view it, here's an example of Web presence in a community relations battle.

The Matrix site is professionally done, while that of the Whittier Hills Oil Watch was put together by volunteers, the anti-drilling group says. We leave it to you to weigh the effectiveness of each site, though unless you live in Whittier, your opinion doesn't matter all that much. These are sites aimed at residents on the scene. They're good examples of competing techniques for getting competing viewpoints out via the Web.

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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