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Senators using blogs

If North Dakotan Senators are taking to blogs, it ought to be about time large law firm marketing professionals, charged with using innovative marketing techniques, to get with the program. The Grand Forks Herald reports six North Dakota Senators are writing blogs as a way of communicating with their constituents.

What’s the Senators’ take?

  • Sen. Tim Mathern: “It’s a way to get information out, and a way for citizens to have pretty direct communication with legislators… I probably reveal more (on the blog) than what I say on the Senate floor.”
  • Sen. Tom Seymour: He gets more e-mail messages than phone calls, and many constituents are informed by online news and blog commentary, especially professions such as health care and education. “It’s really a new tool for the constituent. They’re out there watching these things when they’re posted.”

What do they blog about?

  • Sen. Mathern writes about religion and politics, observations on the Capitol and tidbits about his family life.
  • Sen. Seymour posted a description of driving home in a snowstorm after the Senate adjourned.
  • Sen. Tom Trenbeath discussed his former aversion to technology. “I am a reforming Luddite. Five years ago I would proudly have proclaimed that fact, and eschewed technology as a tool of the devil… Now, I have three e-mail addresses and just enough knowledge of the Web to get myself in trouble. Blog was not in my vocabulary until Dan Rather discovered its potential, and, as the saying goes, ‘Now I are one’.”

You gotta love what Max Laird, a Grand Forks teacher, former president of the North Dakota Education Association and publisher of his own blog, A Teacher’s Take told the Herald.

“These are people in the fishbowl, writing the blogs, rather than people outside the fishbowl looking in.”

The Herald reports the blogs have received 4,620 unique visitors, and 13,540 page views this month. My guess is a law firm would be thrilled with that type of traffic from a targeted audience.

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