Governing in 140 Characters or Less

The "Twitter" phenomenon continues to grow. If you're not familiar, Twitter allows you to give quick updates on what you're doing via your computer or cell phone. The updates are limited to 140 characters. Here at 13 News, many of us are providing updates (I'm melissa_brunner if you want to follow me!) that give you a glimpse at both what we we're doing in our lives and what's going on with news stories. In fact, several news organizations are finding tweets the perfect way to quickly spread breaking news.


It's not just us! On "The View" this week, I heard Jane Fonda say she's started twittering. Also this week, State Rep. Mike Burgess, R-Topeka, announced he is twittering as a way to keep constituents informed about Statehouse happenings. He's the latest of several elected officials nationwide to join the trend.


It makes me wonder if the concept of Twitter could be applied to other aspects of the political process. Imagine a Topeka City Council meeting where people were limited to 140 characters to express their position. No more three-hour debates over a sales tax question! That prime-time speech by President Obama that took out your Tuesday night TV shows? No problem - a five-minute special report will do! Think about how much more quickly the budget debate at the Statehouse could go!


Granted, you might miss some of the eloquent soundbites packed with emotion. That whole "devil is in the details" thing might rear it's ugly head, too. But there is something to be said for keeping it short and sweet. Excuse me while I go check my tweets!


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