By Brian Selander

There are hundreds of great articles, books and tutorials on how to become a more active and engaging presence on Twitter. Being a public official who wants to communicate in 140 characters or less comes with a unique set of challenges and opportunities.

An important rule of thumb when communicating online is that nothing is ever truly private.  Anything you post, such as private message or emails, can be screen-captured and posted online as images.  Anything you put online could live forever even if you try to delete it.  The Anthony Weiner case is a classic example

Maryland is the first state to have both houses pass a bill that prohibits employers from requesting access to employees' or potential employees' private social media accounts.  The bills, SB 433 and HB 964, are a response to the uproar caused by employers asking job applicants for the usersnames and/or passwords to their private Facebook and other social media accounts.  Maryland is the first state to have a such legsilation pass both houses, but state legislators in California, Illinois and Michigan are also acting on the issue.  Governor O'Malley has not yet signed the bill, which would, if signed, go into effect on October 1, 2012.

For those of you attending CSG's 2012 National Leadership Conference, please check out one of the many breakout sessions hosted by The National Leadership Center.  We will be focusing on technology and public relations training to help state leaders share capitol ideas with the latest tools in social media and the Web.  CSG believes in the power of of sharing capitol ideas, and we want to help our members overcome any technological literacy or public relations etiquette challenges that prevent them from taking advantage of these new platforms.

A teacher's aide in Michigan claims that she was fired because she would not give the school access to her Facebook account.  This latest incident is part of a string of incidents involving employers requesting access to their employees' or potential employees' accounts.  The issue has become increasingly high profile with Facebook announcing their disapproval of the process and state legislators moving to address constituents' alarm.  One such bill has passed the Illinois House.