Twitter For Politicians

Tuesday, February 19, 2008 by Mistlee

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Twitter For Politicians

By Rich Brooks

Today I got a notice from Twitter that I have another follower of my Twitter account.

For those of you with a life but without the driving desire to document and share every moment of it, you may not know of Twitter. It's a free service where you can post updates of what you're up to from a computer or mobile phone. You can choose to "follow" other people and get updates of what they're doing.

If you need more explanation than that, I suggest you check out their FAQ.

In any case, the follower was novickforsenate. The "name" was intriguing enough for me to look into it. Turns out it's Steve Novick, a democrat running for the U.S. Senate in Oregon.

Now, one thing that you often do after someone "follows" you, is to follow them back. So I can only imagine how this works. He asks one of his interns to do a search under "Oregon" or "Portland" (which is perhaps why he's following me) or something similar and just start following fellow Twitterers. In turn, a certain percentage will start following him. (At this writing he is following 1,139 and only has 71 followers, but that may change.)

This is a great way--IMHO--of engaging the geekorati who spent time paying attention to Twitter. Once they're following Steve, there's not much more he has to do except to update his Twitter feed (again, probably done by an intern, but maybe not.)

He can post where he's going to be, his response to news stories, or--like in a recent update--a link to his YouTube video, a Beer with Steve.

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YouTube Video - Beer with Steve

Yes, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, and a blog. This guy hasn't just embraced social media, he's made it his...well, let's not go there. This is, after all, a professional business blog.

Will this help him get elected? Time will tell. However, I'm sure he's loving the extra free media coverage he's getting.


About the Author:
Rich Brooks is president of flyte new media, a Web site design and Internet marketing company in Portland, Maine. Flyte works with small businesses to build professional Web sites that often include e-commerce, Flash and content management systems. They promote their clients' sites through search engine optimization, e-mail marketing, business blogs and podcasts, and viral marketing.

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