Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Boehner Works the Facebook

It's nothing new for lawmakers to use Facebook and Twitter to connect with constituents and reporters. House Speaker John Boehner tweeted that the Speaker election would be streaming on his Facbook page. But Wired's Epicenter thinks Boehner may be opening the social network floodgates.

We won’t quibble that Boehner could have done his history-making webcast on the internet proper, perhaps even on, “The Website Of Republicans In Congress.” Or that he could have just given a nice shout out to C-SPAN, which tirelessly does this day in and day out and will be doing it again tomorrow, as C-SPAN communications director Howard Mortman wrote us later — including it’s own Facebook strategy.

“C-SPAN has a far-reaching social media outreach plan for tomorrow’s opening of the new Congress, including livestreaming the day’s House floor proceedings on our Facebook page (with an embeddable player), in addition to everything we’re doing on our networks and websites,” Mortman said.

Without realizing it Boehner may be opening a glorious Pandora’s box by whetting the electorate’s appetite for on-demand access to lawmakers at work from the comfort of their computer and smartphone and tablet screens, without feeling like a wonk. Be careful what you wish for, Mr. Speaker.
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