In December 2011, Walter Neary retired after two terms as an elected member of the Lakewood City Council in Lakewood, Washington State. Back in the mid-2000′s, I was one of the first local elected officials to blog and use social media to interact with constituents. My 30 seconds of fame came not so much from the workshops I did for local elected officials, but in 2008 when some citizens complained because I was blogging during City Council meetings. I stopped I don’t regret the experience at all, because it got me thinking that local elected officials have to be very deliberate in how they approach social media. I began studying how other local elected officials used social media, for good, for bad, and sometimes for confusion. Hence this blog, which on the days when I want to continue it, is meant to be a voice for sensible ways to use social media for a better community and healthier democracy.
I still enjoy studying how government and social media can interact for the better. I serve on Lakewood’s Landmarks and Heritage Advisory board and proudly sit on the board of the Washington Coalition for Open Government.