Finding an ‘E-asier’ way to keep tabs on politics
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State Rep. Tyler August, R-Walworth, uses Twitter politically and personally to keep in touch with constituents, fellow legislators and friends. August has about 200 followers on the micro-blogging website. Dan Plutchak/staff.
ELKHORN — When it comes to sharing their positions and opinions, politicians have always tried to be sure their message reaches as many ears as possible.
Over the years, those venues have evolved from the stump speech to direct-mailings, meet-and-greets, radio and television sound bites, newspaper columns, or even a correspondent job with Fox News.
Then came the Internet and opportunities for everyone to have their say abounded: websites, e-mail, blogs or social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter.
State Sen. Neal Kedzie, R-La Grange Township, started his website in May 2000 when he was in the State Assembly. Kedzie staff member Michelle Osdene believes he was one of the first state representatives with a legislative website and weekly e-mail updates.
“The senator’s e-distribution list — commonly referred to as ‘Kedz-e-mail’ — has hundreds of subscribers and has been open since December 2000. We have sent out e-updates at least once a week over the last 10 years,” Osdene said.
“I think brevity is the reason why some prefer Twitter over e-mail or even texting,” said state Rep. Evan Wynn, R-Whitewater, who represents the 43rd Assembly District.
Wynn, who also has a Facebook account, signed on to Twitter nearly a year ago, but found Tweeting during his campaign last fall too time-consuming. He stopped, but plans to start again now that he’s settling in.
Rep. Tyler August, R-Walworth, said Twitter might be better suited to certain topics.
“Many times I will link to an article (in a Tweet) and say a few words about it,” he said. “Some issues are simple enough to convey your thoughts with just a few words, others need more. I think everyone, not just elected officials, would be well served to know the difference.”
Read the full story in the e-edition of Walworth County Sunday, HERE.