POLITICIANS GET WITH THE BLOG!
NEWS AND RECORD EDITORIAL- Saturday, January 22, 2005
Tom Phillips, Jeff Thigpen and Yvonne Johnson are local elected officials who connect with the public via Web logs. What are others waiting for?
Tom Phillips gives his views about fee hikes for the SCAT van service.
Jeff Thigpen provides a detailed list of "current and completed projects and updates in the Deeds office.
Yvonne Johnson previews a City Council meeting.
They're blogging, baby.
City Council members Phillips and Johnson and Register of Deeds Thigpen have jumped to the head of the class among local elected officials by using Web logs, or blogs, to communicate with the public. Their efforts are good for themselves and their constituents.
"I am starting this blog because the blogaholics tell me this is the wave of the future and I tend to agree with them," Phillips wrote in a post dated Jan. 7. "I'm very apprehensive though, because I know I'm going to get myself in trouble unless I use a lot of restraint. My focus will be primarily on local politics but I will be glad to discuss just about anything."Phillips' comments about SCAT fares drew questions from readers, allowing the councilman to respond. Blogs are interactive,encouraging debates and discussions - a perfect tool for elected representatives.
Thigpen began his blog during his campaign last year uses it now for personal, professional and political purposes. The latest posts ninclude photographs and commentary about a holiday trip to New York, his report non initiatives in his office and his endorsement of Ed Turlington for chairman nof the North Carolina Democratic Party. "It gives the public a chance to engage me," says Thigpen, a former county commissioner who notes it's challenging for elected officials to find productive avenues of communication with constituents. He adds, however, that blogs remain a mystery to many people: "There are some people who want to be interactive with it andothers who think it's first cousin to a frog."
But the circle of bloggers is rapidly widening, and more and more politicians will find that blogs provide a valuable means of connecting with the people who put them in office. But the circle of bloggers is rapidly widening, and more and more politicians will find that blogs provide a valuable means of connecting with the people who put them in office.
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