Social Media Embraced By Politicians On Both Sides Of The Aisle
To say that social media has exploded is an understatement – and for some people, it’s bordering on old news. Most are aware that politicians have been on the bandwagon for some time now, with Twitter and Facebook accounts that are scrutinized on an almost daily basis (for some lucky public servants, anyway). This is the case on both sides of the aisle, as Republicans and Democrats alike are utilizing social media as a tool for communicating their messages and keeping tabs on public opinion.
On the right side of the aisle, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is one of social media’s most enthusiastic converts. Chaffetz makes his social media efforts personal by updating his own Twitter account and responding to anyone who messages him on Facebook (no social media agencies for him!). His communications director explains why:
“Instead of going through the process of writing an official letter that takes weeks and weeks to get a response, with social media he can respond right away. He can send out his statement right on Twitter in real time. It makes communicating so much faster.”
She also pointed out that reporters check Chaffetz’ Twitter often, and call him to probe further into any tweets that may inspire a story.
On the left, it appears that former San Francisco mayor and current Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom can add one more tag to his title: San Francisco social media guru. Newsom told Mashable.com that for him, social media is an essential communication device between the people and the government. “In San Francisco, we are trying to turn government into an organizing platform for civic engagement by giving our residents the tools to build the kind of government that works for them,” Newsom said. He went on to express that social media is such a tool.
Does that alone propel Newsom to “guru” status? No, but this does: The former mayor is currently writing a book about “the intersection of . The book, which remains untitled for now, is scheduled for release in 2013. Perhaps ironically (or perhaps not), Newsom first revealed the news on his Twitter account.