Are You Facebook Friends With Your Congressional Representative?

Meet Adam Connor. He's created a career teaching Congresspeople to use Facebook. While the Washington Post says Connor brings home a cool $75,000 a year, the interviews make it clear he is working for every penny.

Connor's job sounds ideal - but trying to teach a new technology to people who don't care about the details proves to be a trying activity:

He's impatient for a time when he no longer receives as many as 20 help requests a day from government officials. "Everyone really wants to talk on the phone in D.C., and it's often not a polite request," says Conner, who is considering graduate school and entering politics one day. "It's often, 'Call me today.' Yeah, we have a 'Help' section on Facebook. It's very helpful. At the bottom of the page, it says 'Help.' "


Oh Adam, you know the first rule of government is to assume no one reads anything!

The Post continues, explaining that Connor has chosen not to mute his own political beliefs or sense of humor - even as he works with elected officials from both sides of the aisle:

One of his status updates earlier this month was this re-tweet — the re-posting of another person's Twitter post: "RT @cjoh: Go outside. Feel that hail? That's God being pissed off at Joe Lieberman." Or, some days later: "Not a politics party till people start referring to previous hookups present by campaign cycle, like 'She was New Hampshire Primary 07.' "

One of Connor's clients is Peter Roskam, a Republican from Illinois who asks for a social networking action plan while fondling his Blackberry.

Roskam, who updates his campaign and official Facebook pages along with his staffers, isn't so sure about following Conner's advice and posting items about his mundane doings. " 'I am going to the dry cleaners' — that's not interesting," the congressman says. "I am trying to think of what is interesting from a personal connection. 'Going over to the Ways and Means Committee'? You're sensing a little caution in my voice, because you really don't want to be that guy."

What about responding to people's comments on your Facebook wall? "That is running, whereas I am more at the creeping stage," says Roskam, who as of late Tuesday had not updated his pages' walls with his own messages since early December.


Good Luck, Connor - it's going to be an uphill battle.

Image via The Washington Post

Can Facebook, Capitol Hill be friends? Lawmakers learn social networking. [Washington Post]

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