Social Media

In 2011, Representative Renee Shulte of Iowa's 37th House District was selected to participate in the CSG Henry Toll Fellowship Program because of her commitment to excellence in public service and her dynamic spirit as a leader.  She has taken on important issues such as mental health, and she has kept her constituents informed about her service by being a trailblazer in social media.  Representative Shulte not only has a website, but she also engages her constituents through social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.  For state leaders hoping to "share capitol ideas" in the digital age, Representative Shulte is a great model of someone doing just that.

New Jersey Senator and CSG-East Co-Chair Jim Whelan uses Facebook and Twitter to keep his constituents informed about the work that he is doing on their behalf.  You can check out his "Facebook Friday" posts here or follow him on Twitter here.

Recently Google, a company best known for its search engine, launched a social network that it calls "Google+" or "Google Plus."  You can visit it by going to plus.google.com.  Much like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter, Google+ is becomming a popular online desitnation.  Accordingly, it's also a good way for elected officials to connect with the public.  To help connect constituents with elected officials or candidates on Google+, the company has launched an online guide highlighting how the service can be used.

As noted earlier here, here and here, Missouri has been working through the social media provisions of SB 54, a bill which could have prohibited teachers and students from connecting on social networks.  Due to the breadth of the law, it was blocked by the courts. 

As reported earlier, GOP state senators in Indiana have begun using QR codes for their mailings.  The square codes often provide a convenient link between the paper world and the online, interactive world, which allow a user with a free barcode reader app to download the codes.  Now the state government of Indiana is also incorporating the codes, adding them to the various pages of www.in.gov and their state parks.

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