First off, I believe in the potential of the open government initiative, government 2.0, whatever you wish to call it. My goal is simple, to baseline where we are in terms of basic social engagement at one of the highest levels of our government… The Senate. Here is my approach, for better or for worse:
* This test will be run once while out of session (the January cycle) and once when back in session (the February cycle).
* Using lists I found on Tweepml.org I have pulled together a list of twitter accounts for various US Senators.
* Starting on January 3rd and ending on January 5th, I sent the following message, via Twitter, to each account: “What does the open government directive mean to you and how will it impact how your state does business” . My hope is that this fairly simple question would result in at least a simple answer, no comment will even be okay.
* Wait until end of day, January 15th, and report who responded who responded and what % of the total responded.
* Run again from February 1st to February 12th, reporting who responded who responded and what % of the total responded.
Twitter is a social tool designed for two-way engagement and I have seen some senior level politicians do very well with it (MassGovernor for example) while watching others use it as purely a one-way news push. Time will tell how this experiment goes, I will let you know.
Here is the list of Twitter accounts I have reached out to: