Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Senate Web Site

Senator John Valentine, President of the Utah Senate, explains on The Senate Site what they are trying to accomplish by hosting a blog that presents opinions and activities of the senate in this format. He discusses the importance of communication from elected officials to their constituents:

"Government needs to communicate with citizens – and vice versa. We try to facilitate this a hundred different ways.
  • Award-winning, citizen-friendly web sites;
  • E-mail correspondence;
  • Direct phone conversations;
  • Live streaming video of chamber activity;
  • Streaming audio of chamber activity (both live and archived);
  • On-line audio of our legislative committee meetings (live and archived);
  • Personal meetings with groups and individuals;
  • Etcetera. I’m sure I’ll think of more as I'm going to sleep tonight."
The Senate Site is an excellent example of how public officials can better communicate with their constituents.

President Valentine further elaborates, "Web 2.0 is different than working through a reporter because we can speak directly to the public, in our own voice, and our constituents can respond, anonymously or otherwise. I like the opportunity and the accountability."

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