Why Would/Should an Elected Official Blog?

Many articles, books, seminars, radio shows and televised programs have addressed this question. But for the purpose of understanding why an elected official might want to blog and out in public, I strongly suggest you read this article, "The State of Blogging: Lawmakers are creating blogs to get their constituents involved," from the National Council of State Legislatures. I've found NCSL to be a fantastic resource for all kinds of issues and encourage you to visit their website if the opportunity arises.  But be careful - like any other resource-rich URL, you may find yourself into the labyrinth of information far further and longer than you expected.

It was published in May 2008 and here's a teaser:

Increasing numbers of legislators are launching blogs to make their voices heard and create ongoing conversations with their constituents.
“I started my blog as a way for my constituents to read what was going on inside the Georgia General Assembly as it happens,” [Georgia Representative Steve] Davis says. He’s also aware that people are becoming more technologically savvy and wanted to be out front in reaching constituents online.

Engaging citizens in government is reshaping the way government works. The interactive tools offered by Web 2.0, the new incarnation of the Internet, make it easy for government executives to engage their constituents, and a growing number of lawmakers are making blogs part of their strategies for connecting with citizens. Still, the practice is fairly uncommon.

“We’re at the early stages by any measure,” says David Wyld, author of The Blogging Revolution: Government in the Age of Web 2.0, a report published by IBM’s Center for the Business of Government.

But in five to 10 years, says Wyld, who is a professor of management at Southeastern Louisiana University, “blogging and other interactive Web tools will just be part of the ratcheted-up expectations people have for their governments.”
From what I know about blogging by electeds in and from NE Ohio, I'd say that a little less than two years after that article was written, here, the practice is still fairly uncommon.

Hopefully not for long!

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