Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently announced that he will launch official Twitter and Flickr pages, another sign
that state governments are embracing social media platforms as a way to reach
out to citizens.
"Social media including Twitter and Flickr are the latest
tools we have added to share news and information with the people of Illinois."
Governor Quinn said in a statement released Wednesday. "We are
continuing our work to make state government as open and accessible as possible,
sharing updates and photos to further engage Illinois
residents on the issues that impact them."
This is the latest effort by Quinn, who in recent years has
made social media a key part of his plan to make Illinois
government more accessible and transparent. No small task in a state where the
last two Governors have been convicted on federal corruption charges.
The 2009 launch of Sunshine.Illinois.gov allowed
users to view state employee salaries, state contracts, and campaign finance
disclosures. These are elements of transparency that good government watchdog
groups have been trying to make the norm for decades, but in a state as
synonymous with backroom dealing and patronage as Illinois
is this is a major step forward.
Additionally, Quinn has overseen the launch of Apps for Metro
Chicago Illinois, an application development competition. The competition
will encourage entrants to develop mobile apps using over 200 public data sets that
will "create innovative solutions to public policy issues and applications that
can improve the lives of people everywhere."
Using social media as a means of open government transparency?
Hey, if it can happen in The Land of Blago it can probably happen anywhere.