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'Social Media First' When Facebook Goes Live With Congressional Changing Of The Guard

Incoming House Speaker John Boehner wants his swearing in to catch Facebook fever. Not content to be picked up by just the traditional mediums of TV and radio, Boehner wants to earn some techie cred by being the first Speaker of the House to go "live" on the popular social media Web site covering his first day's floor proceedings and his initial speech as Speaker.

Curious to note, while this is a first for Congress as well as Facebook, there is just slightly more than 10,000 people (as of this posting) LIKE-ing the GOP's fan page - "A Pledge to America is on Facebook." With coverage on CNN and over 6000 blog posts about the event, you would think that Mr. Boehner's innovative approach would have gone viral at this point in time?


Nick Schaper who apparently is Boehner's PR arm heading up the GOP's digital media told CNN, ""This kind of Nick SchaperNick Schaperstreaming and real-time interaction is not only unprecedented for the House, it's helping to set the tone for a new majority that will continue to find new ways to listen to and better represent the American people."

While social media has proven successful for both parties, and was even cited as one of the major reasons for Barack Obama winning the highest seat in the land, it is curious why Mr. Boehner hasn't attracted more followers.  Particularly, since those watching will be able to offer feedback and comment on the proceedings as they happen live on the social network, Wednesday, January 5.

The Speaker-designate is such a strong believer in the power of social media that he was criticized by the public when he tweeted last year during Barack Obama's last State of the Union address in 2010. In tandem with the Facebook event, Boehner and other Congressional leaders will officially be changing their Twitter names to reflect their new positions.

Schaper is also assisting the large incoming freshman class of Republican recruits in getting their new Web sites up and running before Boehner goes live on Facebook. Committee and leadership Web sites are also expected to make the transition with new looks and new Web addresses.

Should you not be a Facebook user, you can watch the opening session of the 112th Congress on a screencast via Livestream. The session will commence at noon, and should be available in REPLAY, thereafter.

So whether you are Republican or Democrat, will you be watching the event on Facebook? Do you think this is a sea change for America?  If so, tell us why you feel this is momentous occasion? And also why you think only 10,000 folks were interested enough to LIKE the Pledge to America fan page on Facebook? Since the 2010 elections determined this major shift of power in the House, aren't there more folks out there that want to see what their candidates have to say on their first day in office?

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Ron Callari
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