The state Senate goes social

nys senate site grab

Malcolm in the middle.

The New York Senate's web site gets the social media makeover today. "We like to think of this as returning government to the people ... They paid for it. This is citizens first," says the guy who built it.

In theory, this sounds great. We're all for opening up the governmental process to the public. And stuff like RSS feeds for individual Senators (Neil Breslin, for example) and a "plain language initiative" for public data are all encouraging. Thank you. Yes. This is good. More, please.

But, like with Kirsten Gillibrand's new site, we're also a little wary of this technology just becoming gloss on an otherwise old and broken system. As Bob at Planet Albany posted today:

"No doubt it will be an improvement, but the preview I saw contained photos of public meetings that might leave the unwary with the impression that the Senate is a model of democratic discourse. In fact, on every contentious issue from the budget to the MTA to gay marriage, it is operating under standard Albany rules of closed government."

In the end, the technology is just a tool. Let's hope it's put to good use.

Earlier on AOA:
+ Where's our CongressTube?
+ Schenectady mugshots on Twitter
+ The Albany crime map: keep trying

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Malcolm Smith: One heartbeat away from the governor's office.

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