Arrrrrrr ya frickin kiddin’ me? ARKANSAS council members on Twitter

Arrrrrrr ya frickin kiddin’ me? ARKANSAS council members on Twitter

Ace was hoping LFUCG would lead the way when it comes to TwitterTransparency — a shining beacon of elected and university officials would use the micro-blogging service to keep the citizenry apprised. Especially after the Mustache Audit [you can click on plenty of posts here about that], everyone could use a little reassurance.

We’ve been advocating for this since Fall of 2008. High hopes abounded when @UKCoachCalipari jumped right in last week (amassing 10,000+ followers in his first few days).

Now we find out, FAYETTEVILLE ARKANSAS is ahead of Lexington on this?! Seriously?! (Thanks. Cleveland is too.) Note the Fayetteville MAYOR isn’t on board, describing himself as “old school,” and not for/ or against Twitter (though he loves him some facebook).

In the Northwest Arkansas Times, Robin Mero reports:

One Fayetteville alderman believes Fayetteville should use to disseminate information and is using Tweets to share what’s happening at the council table during meetings.

Twitter is a Web site for social networking and microblogging. Users send and read Tweets, posts of up to 140 characters. Updates are delivered to people who signed up to receive them, and those people can reply with opinions or questions via computer or texting.

Alderman Matthew Petty first sent and received Tweets on his laptop computer during the March 17 council meeting.

Television is a one-way conversation, Petty said. Tweets are short and quick, and are a truly open form of communication as they’re posted on for all to see, even those without a Twitter account.

U.S. Rep John Boozman uses Twitter with constituents as does State Rep. Mark Martin, R-Prairie Grove. Some cities are embracing the method, such as Cleveland, Ohio, which sends updates on city council actions and reminders about upcoming meetings and events.

Boozman sent Tweets Wednesday that he met in Washington, D.C., with former University of Arkansas Athletic Director Frank Broyles about Alzheimer’s research funding. Friday he Twittered about his lunch at the Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce, then meeting with Procter & Gamble employees. His updates are posted by Sara Lasure, his communications director.

“He wants to make sure people in his district know what he’s up to,” Lasure said Thursday from Boozman’s D.C. office. “He will recommend something to me – what he’s interested in or something on his calendar.”

New media is a push for Boozman’s office. E-mail remains the primary form of communication, but Twitter and are right behind with gaining in popularity, Lasure said. Boozman has more than 1,000 Twitter followers.

“Twitter seems to be the wave of the future. Any given day we’ll have 10 new followers; it seems to have picked up in popularity the last two months,” Lasure said.

Petty, during the last council meeting, Twittered about upcoming topics on the council agenda and posed a question about limiting publishing in the newspaper. He is estimated to have up to 100 following his Twittering.

“I expect to see several hundred as time goes on. About 1,000 people in Fayetteville are using Twitter, and the more people who get involved, you start to see a network effect. People get their news in different ways, and this gives people more freedom to receive information without staying glued to the TV,” Petty said…

Petty said he doesn’t believe he’s distracted from the meeting, since messages are short.

Tweets were also useful during the ice storm for spreading information and updates, and Petty said he would like to see the city embrace the method.

Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan said Thursday he was unaware of Petty’s Twittering, and he is not for or against it. He called himself “old school” but described his Facebook page as a huge success. Jordan has almost 1,900 friends on Facebook where he posts links to stories of interest about the city, discusses his schedule and interests and receives public input.


At least you can follow Ace on twitter (
Cause you know Ace never sleeps.