Social media in the statehouse

It wasn’t that long ago that state officials were leery of using social media to connect with the public, Mary Mahling reports at, but those days are over, at least in governors’ offices. A survey of gubernatorial websites indicates that all 50 state chief executives–or, to be precise, their staffs–use at least one social media service to stay in touch.

Most commonly used are Facebook and Twitter–at least 45 governors are on both. Flickr and YouTube are less prevalent, although at least half the sites use one or both. More than 20 governors–including Connecticut’s Dannel P. Malloy–are on all four.

Ideology is no predictor of social media use: Also among the governors using all four services are Vermont Democrat Peter Shumlin, whose signature achievement his first year in office was pushing and signing the first state-level single-payer health care system, and Texas Republican Rick Perry, who once called Social Security and other New Deal programs “the second big step in the march of socialism.”