Local politicians use the social-networking site to share their thoughts with constituents.
If you want to know what Drew Edmondson, Oklahoma attorney general and gubernatorial candidate, is doing on any given day, look no further than Twitter.
On July 25, he had breakfast with Rep. Mike Shelton before heading to the Hispanic Chamber Expo. On Aug. 5, he and his wife, Linda, went to dinner at the Museum Café and to Lyric Theater to see “The Producers.” And on Aug. 13, he spent the day in Oklahoma City before heading to Norman for the evening.
Edmondson is one of the many politicians jumping on the Twitter bandwagon in an effort to reach out to constituents and voters.
Twitter is a social-networking Web site that allows users to send and read messages known as “Tweets.” Tweets are a maximum of 140 characters and are delivered to the author’s subscribers, known as followers.
“It’s the new wave,” says Edmondson, who, as of press time, had 625 followers at twitter.com/Drew_Edmondson. “It’s kind of interesting and innovative.”
Edmondon says he personally posts many of the Tweets early in the morning.
“I have no problem getting up early in the morning and posting,” he says, adding that he usually writes about his plans for the day. If the post is published at night, someone else may have posted it, he says.
On June 10 at 10:35 a.m., the attorney general announced on Twitter that he was running for governor and instructed readers to visit his Web site for more information.
Although Edmondson’s posts include personal anecdotes and plans, many politicians use the site simply to inform the public about what they are doing while in office.
Rep. Mary Fallin, also in the race for governor, posts links to opinion pieces she has written and news articles. Fallin, who had 3,683 followers at twitter.com/RepMaryFallin as of press time, also posts links to videos and pictures at various hearings or in sessions.
Sen. Tom Coburn (twitter.com/TomCoburn) and Sen. Jim Inhofe (twitter.com/jiminhofe) also have Twitter accounts.
Rep. John Sullivan (twitter.com/USRepSullivan), who represents Oklahoma’s district 1, including Tulsa, has a Twitter account. Sullivan writes about his work in the House of Representatives and often includes his personal feelings.
“Just left the house floor. I voted against the housing bill. Rewards those who have not played by the rules,” he wrote on March 5.
At the local level, politicians are getting in on the action as well. Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor (twitter.com/MayorTaylor) has a page and so do many mayoral candidates, including state Sen. Tom Adelson (twitter.com/tomadelson) and former City Councilman Dewey Bartlett (twitter.com/DeweyBartlett).
Bartlett, who has 162 followers, says Twitter improves his ability to communicate.
“More importantly,” he says, “it improves my ability to listen.”
As president of Keener Oil & Gas Co., Dewey has been learning more about alternative communication, including social-media sites like Twitter.
“In conjunction with old media, (new media) is very effective,” he says.