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If Claire Can Twitter So Can The Aldermen

February 21, 2009 Board of Aldermen, Site Info 10 Comments

I’m fortunate to have, as my representative on the Board of Aldermen, the youngest (and tallest) member: Kacie Starr Triplett.  She twitters.  That is she sends out posts on the micro blogging site, Twitter.  She also has an infrequently updated blog.  Of all 28 Aldermen she does a far better job them most.  She was just starting grade school when some of her collegues were first elected to the Board of Aldermen.  Micro blogging is so named because the maximum length of a post is 140 characters.

But it is not just the kids doing the Twitter thing.  Missouri’s junior Senator Claire McCaskill also posts regularly to Twitter.  McCaskill is 55.

Here are a few samples of Senator McCaskill’s tweets:

New Chief of Staff on board March 1. We will miss Sean(went to WH), but Julie Dwyer is gonna be terrific.Change is good.

Things look good on compromise. Officially got sub committee on contracting. Going to basement to grab lunch while walking.

Just left a meeting with the owners of Union Station. Discussing upcoming renovations and new Marriott hotel

I really liked this one:

My eyes are burning from cigarette smoke in Loop restaurant. Ingrain in Brain: SmokeFree. SmokeFree

During a recent meeting of the Board of Aldermen she posted:

Friday board meeting. Nothing too interesting or out of the ordinary today.

Less than a half hour later she posted:

I spoke too soon. Troupe vs. Bosley on advance warning signage for red light cameras. Several point of orders throughout debate

McCaskill now has over 6,000 followers on Twitter.  Triplett has 93.  I have 118.  Bill Streeter is a mad man on Twitter and has 1,081 followers.The Post-Dispatches’ Jake Wagman has 286 followers. For the most part my blog posts are my only tweets — posted automatically using my feed so the follower gets headline and link.  I sometimes post commentary. Facebook gets more updates than Twitter.

But the beauty of Twitter is that you can follow the tweets of others without them needing to approve or reciprocate.   I like seeing tweets from both my U.S. Senator and Alderman.

One is middle fifties and one is late 20s.  Both realize they are in public office and they have an obligation to communicate with the public.  While each likely has constituents lacking internet access, I’m glad they do not limit their communications to the least technological.

In our current times using only one avenue for communications just doesn’t cut it.  Neighborhood meetings are great for those able to attend.  Newsletters are costly to produce and are not timely.  Pols can’t call everyone to give verbal updates.

Twitter is free.  For elected officials good communications need not mandate a large staff or a big budget, just a smart phone.

Here are links to the Twitter posts of the folks mentioned above:

Lost?  Confused?  If so read more about Twitter on Wikipedia here.

 

Currently there are "10 comments" on this Article:

  1. dumb me says:

    the internet has gone too far. i’m not interested in hearing the every move of someone in 140 character bites. don’t we have more important things to be doing than tracking people all through their day? at least that’s what i thought. dumb me.

     
  2. constant change says:

    I would read it, if my alderperson had it.

     
  3. Adam says:

    dumb me, if you’re not interested, don’t read it. problem solved. 🙂

     
  4. dumb me says:

    There’s something of an addictive personality type at work with the whole twitter thing. It’s too much of a good thing.

     
  5. Dutchtown Res says:

    I agree with “dumb me.” Doesn’t anyone unplug their computer or blackberry or other device and enjoy a moment of quiet self-reflection anymore? For god’s sake, people talk and text on their cells while talking a piss. Enough!

     
  6. Adam says:

    how is it any different than reading/commenting on this blog? stop blowing it out of proportion.

     
  7. aaron.levi says:

    my alderman won’t even use email >_<

     
  8. @dumb me it’s not about following every move of someone. It’s more about a free form on going conversation. Yes it’s a really really simple concept, but very powerful. You really need to use it to understand it. Everyone seems to use it a little differently, but it’s a good way to check the pulse of the crowd, get news and find out where the “parties” are. Part chat room, part news feed, part bulletin board–thats twitter.

     
  9. dumb me says:

    I don’t have it, so I’m not speaking from experience. I just see other people use it. It looks like they are addicted to it. You can be in a conversation with someone, and the next second, they’re off on the I-Phone, posting something to their Blackberry, possibly waiting for an instant message in reply? What could possibly be so urgent as to take someone away from the conversation their having? I don’t know. I do know that this sort of behavior is rude, even around dumb people like me. Dumb me.

     

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