2-Way Tweeting Helps Louisiana Monitor Spill

Emergency agency makes good use of give-and-take with followers
By M. Morris,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2010 4:35 PM CDT
Brown pelicans and seagulls are seen at a rookery near an absorbent boom soaked with oil from the Deepwater Horizon spill, Saturday, June 12, 2010, in Barataria Bay near East Grand Terre, La.   (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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(Newser) – Like a lot of other government agencies, Louisiana's emergency-preparedness office uses its Twitter feed to keep citizens updated on issues like the Gulf oil spill. In a neat twist, the office is following thousands of its own followers, "something that a lot of government agencies in the emergency area (and actually government agencies in any field) have been hesitant to do," John Solomon writes for the In Case of Emergency blog.

Followers tend to be "involved (and informed) citizens, activists or bloggers" interested in issues pertinent to the office's work, Solomon notes. Their tweets can even help the agency anticipate what reporters might ask. "Twitter is a snapshot of what people are thinking and talking about,” says a rep. “People are either talking about you or talking with you. We’d prefer to talk with you."

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