Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Unicameral Blogger

The Lincoln Journal Star has an article about members of the Nebraska legislature ("Unicameral") using the internet to communicate with constituents. Most approaches are fairly conventional: email newsletters and web sites. There is an exception, however:
About five years ago, State Sen. Philip Erdman [Bayard, 47th District] began posting a daily column on his Web site, describing what is going on in the Unicameral from his perspective. He called it keeping the folks in his part of the state informed about his views and what the Legislature was up to.

Now they call it blogging. Erdman is likely the only state senator who blogs, with a daily personal report, though a few other senators offer weekly columns, written in the first-person blogging style, and sent out through e-mail or posted on a Web page. More Session 2005 stories

Erdman's daily report, which also goes out by e-mail to several hundred constituents, friends, and interested people, is a brief synopsis of the bills being debated that day, with a touch of Erdman perspective and humor.


Erdman was blogging before he had heard of the word.

 "I wanted to give real time information to constituents," using the technology that was available," he said of his daily journal.

Erdman types out his blog daily, usually at the end of the day, while he sits at his desk on the legislative floor. He sends it out through an e-mail list, and a friend posts it on his Web site.

"These are just flat out my thoughts on what we are doing. They aren't flippant, but they are candid," he said.
Here is a link to Sen. Erdman's blog. He's pretty good about posting something every day. The site doesn't allow comments on the posts, although an email link is provided. A search function would be nice, as it will not be easy to find a particular topic after the fact.

Sen. Erdman, if you are reading this, feel free to copy and modify the "Google Site Search" applet from this site for your own use. Keep up the good work.

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