October 30, 2008 Henriette Weber wrote:

Twitter and Government

Dutch minister of Foreign Affairs, Maxime Verhagen, has become an avid Twitterer. As of this writing, @MaximeVerhagen has 599 updates, 662 followers and is following 44 others. What I find interesting about his updates is the insight it provides into the life of a minister of Foreign Affairs. One moment he’s dressing up for a meeting with a foreign diplomat, the next he’s off to China, Japan and South-Korea. Not even back for a few hours and he’s in a debate with the Parliament.

Mainstream media doesn’t update you about the whereabouts of the ministers, but with Twitter, that’s okay, cause the minister can do it himself.

I do wonder, though, when Mr. Verhagen tweets will cause an uproar in the Dutch media. Even though the interface may just be a text message, he has to make sure he gives the official statement of the cabinet, and does not spill any beans. The question of “who are you micro-blogging for” is perhaps even more appropriate to a government official than to “us”.

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