Two freshman congressmen, Jared Polis and Jason Chaffetz embarked on an experiment a few weeks ago when they began documenting for the world via CNN what it was like to be new to Washington. Their series, which can be found here, show the guys working with committees, sleeping on cots (at least one of them does) and working with constituents.
They also employ other means of social media including Twitter and YouTube. And of course with Twitter, anyone can follow Jason or Jared.
Here’s one of Jason’s additional YouTube videos.
The two men couldn’t be more different. Jared is a Princeton educated democrat from Colorado and the first openly gay man elected to the House as a freshman while Jason is a republican from Utah who played football for BYU in the late 80’s and is now married with three children.
Both Jason and Jared keep diaries and tweet daily so their followers know what they’re up to. Also, if you’re interested in finding out if your congressman is on Twitter, check out this website which lists all the members who are!
Associated Press file photo: Liz Smith
NEW YORK – The New York Post is dropping Liz Smith‘s column this week to save money, leaving the legendary gossip columnist without a newspaper home in the city for the first time in 33 years. “I’m very sorry that that has come to an end, and that I wasn’t valuable enough for them to keep me on,” the 86-year-old Smith said Tuesday.
According to an Associated Press article, the Post simply couldn’t keep paying the “Dame of Dish” $125,000 per year for her column. One would assume a column that has been a regular in the Murdoch-owned newspaper since 1991 would draw a consistent audience.
Perhaps the demographic has changed too much for that. Now with gossip media outlets like TMZ and Perez Hilton, who are not only free, but also provide videos and photographs and interactive media to include and engage their audience– people seem more likely to leave legends like Smith (whose content is made up solely of text), and go to a more interactive environment.
I read this article by Michael Learmonth titled “Wanted: Online Payment Plan for Print” – it’s long, but a great read.
“It was as if the media woke up, saw its shadow and realized that the print world, including American capital-J journalism, is in mid-collapse. It’s finally dawning that this isn’t just about the economy, and it’s not going to suddenly get better when the Dow finally starts chugging upward again.”
There are several differing opinions in this piece: MSNBC.com President Charlie Tillinghast says, “Consumers won’t pay; it’s just that simple.” But the owner of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Walter E. Hussman, has been charging individuals $4.95 a month to access his publication’s website. He says their circulation has remained “steady” while others newspapers are floundering.
Pete Cashmore wrote this article posing that question as well as, “does social media change the way we act?” and “does it make us nicer to one another?”
The comments at the end of the article are mixed. I for one, do not think that social media makes me a better person. Maybe a person with more access to contributing my thoughts and opinions or a person with more public visibility or a person who is more careful of what I choose to throw around online, but not a better person. I’m not sure you can say “social media makes you a better person,” or “social media makes you a worse person,” as I think that all really depends on how you choose to utilize social media.
What do you think?
I found This article, posted by Pete Cashmore to be interesting and funny. It’s a must read for anyone who desires to become a master “tweeter.” Evidently, your status as a tweeter is not determined by your number of followers, but by the number of times your posts are “retweeted.” There are even websites, like Retweetist that will calculate your retweets! The article also provides six tips to help you get retweeted.
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