Click here to see pictures and bios of the councilors on the municipal website.
In one of Tom’s posts this week, you can read this thread of comments between Tom, James, Mary, and me. Until I suggested it to him, James was posting as “Anonymous” and not his name.
A useful tip for public officials adding blog comments: It’s always best to be transparent and use your name.
Ward 4 Councilor Ed Cameron understands the benefits of using your name–for he has his own blog, initially created during his campaign run in 2007. Here’s his first post in the form of a press release.
While he doesn’t write as frequently as I’d like, echoed by my commentary on Ed last year, I appreciate that he’s trying and is the only blogging councilor.
It should be noted that Ed appears to be a friend of new blogger Larry Giunta, writing under Newburyport’s Voice and representing the conservative side of town. I’m confident that with time, James, Ed, and other councilors will interact with Larry, too.
Any list of Newburyport bloggers would be incomplete without a nod to Mary Baker Eaton, who bought NewburyportBlog.com a few years ago and points it to her personal domain. She was the first local blogger that I know of.
I don’t care that she writes infrequently about Newburyport goings-on, but she refuses comments. It’s one thing if she denies comments on marybakerart.com/newburyport, but it’s different when a blog in the name of the city isn’t open for comment.
Some of the councilors are also Facebooking. In recent days, I’ve stumbled across profiles for James Shanley, Brian Derrivan, Donna Holaday, and Steven Hutcheson, although they each appear to use the social networking site differently.
Brian Derrivan, for instance, joined Facebook on February 2 and already amassed 64 friends. His hobbies include music, politics, fishing, and boating. He aligns himself with the Democratic Party. Brian’s 46th birthday occurs June 4.
Of note, I can also see Brian is a member of a group to “Draft Senator Scott Brown to run for Governor of Massachusetts” (which is curious in its own right, for the email address associated with that group matches Larry Giunta’s blog).
I can see Brian’s profile, despite not being “friends” with him, because we share membership in the Boston network. He can see mine, too, if he opts. So can any non-friends of mine if belonging to the Boston or Suffolk University networks.
I think it is great that city councilors are experimenting with social media, from commenting on local blogs to building Facebook profiles. Blogging, too. What’s next for them?