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SHORE OFFICIALS SLOW TO EMBRACE SOCIAL MEDIA

Communications professor Klumpp explains why many elected officials on the Eastern Shore are not on Facebook and Twitter.

By the Daily Times of Salisbury, Md.

Within the past few years, politicians have begun courting voters in 140 characters or less on Twitter and by making friends on Facebook.

As more and more people sign up for the two social media platforms, state lawmakers in Maryland and those at the local level have begun using Facebook and Twitter to campaign and rally public support around themselves.
 
On the Eastern Shore, however, the embrace of social networking has moved a bit slower than in more urban areas.

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James F. Klumpp, professor of communication at the University of Maryland College Park, said one of the reasons Facebook and Twitter are sparsely used by lower-level elected officials is because their campaigns and year-round work still include an element of individual contact that officials in higher offices lost a while ago.
 
"I think the fact that there is still that personal dimension left in the local campaigns has in some sense made it less important for them to immediately develop the social media aspects of their campaigning," Klumpp said.

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Date of Publication: 
5/7/12