Washington Secretary of State Sam Reed launched today an agency MySpace page and Washington State Elections Facebook group. Both are part of an effort using social media to engage all of Washington's citizens.
"Today people don't get their information from just one source. They might listen to the radio on their way to work, grab a newspaper at the office, watch the evening news, and logon to Facebook at night. We must adapt to their changing needs," emphasized Reed.
Currently, the MySpace page offers viewers information about the upcoming November General Election and Washington elections. Throughout the calendar year, the page will be updated to feature the various programs and responsibilities of the Office of the Secretary of State.
Visitors to the page can make comments and submit questions directly to the agency. A calendar of public meetings, important dates to remember and events are also listed on the site. MySpace.com is the third most popular Web site in the United States and has on a few occasions topped out as the nation's number one most popular Web site.
Facebook users are invited to join the Washington State Elections Facebook group. Users who sign up as group members are sent reminders of important deadlines and dates to remember. Members of the group will receive up-to-the minute information about current hot topics in Washington State's Elections. Facebook.com has the largest number of registered users among college-focused sites, with more than 42 million active members worldwide.
"As social media, or web 2.0, continues to grow it's important to recognize its impact on the people we serve," said Reed. "Government is here for the people and finding new ways to reach out to the citizens it serves is crucial to transparency and trust."
Earlier this year, Secretary Reed launched a series of MySpace and e-mail vote reminders for the State Primary in August and the State General Election in November. In addition to information available on MySpace and Facebook, the office has also started to utilize video through YouTube, including video offering viewers an inside look at Washington Elections.