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What’s off the Record?

I fought it for as long as I could, but I eventually had to create a Twitter account (burgosgroup). I really didn’t want to because, to be perfectly honest, I’m having enough trouble keeping up with my Facebook account, and reading all of my blog feeds. Not too mention the non-social media related demands in my life. But, you can only resist for so long.

Of course, like everything in life, there are actually ways to have your cake and eat it too. My Twitter and Blog accounts are now linked to my Facebook account. So, what I write on either of them ends up on Facebook as well. Of course, anyone can follow my posts or tweets, but not everyone can become my friend on Facebook. I know some of you might find that hard to believe since I seem to add a new friend every couple of days.

So, do I like Twitter? Yeah, like millions of others, I’m fully addicted. You think talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous? I can’t even imagine how many folks are driving while checking their Twitter alerts. Next time you’re driving look at the people driving next to you to see if they are looking down into the car every two seconds. Chances are they are texting or reading Twitter alerts. Somehow, I’m thinking this is an even greater threat to society than salvia.

Now, there are some New Mexico folks who are Twitterers in overdrive. I’m talking about Matthew Reichbach, Julia Goldberg, Peter St. Cyr and Santa Fe Sheriff and Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor Greg Solano. The other bloggers we all know and like and the one’s we respect and the one’s we love to “hate” are on there too, but the first four I mentioned are in a league all their own when it comes to NM Twitterers.

Probably not a big surprise all of them are bloggers, and if they are like me, they tried Digg and Delicious, LinkedIn and Plaxo, but nothing is getting quite as much of their attention as their blog, facebook and twitter accounts.

I’ve been blogging since December of 2004. At first it was an experiment. I was interested in learning about this blogging thing eight or nine million people were doing worldwide. I also wanted to stay engaged and relevant in politics after running for State Representative in a 2004 primary and losing. I can say without a doubt, “Mission Accomplished.” In fact, what I’ve learned and got out of this little experiment far exceeded anything I ever could have imagined.

I’ve told everybody I’ve met who has thought of running for office that they should blog. I’ve had surprisingly very few takers. I remember one soon to be candidate telling me that blogging wasn’t a good idea because the opposition research folks would use what you’ve written against you in a campaign.

My thoughts on that were simple, they’re going to come after you in a campaign no matter what. And, if they can’t find something, they’ll probably make something up. I know I’ve had it done me and seen it done to others on muliple occasions. So, you may as well put your own thoughts out there for people to judge. My experience is that although many may disagree with your thoughts, you’ll still earn their respect.

Which brings me to my motivation for writing this post. There are still some commonsense rules to which you need to adhere. First and foremost is that once it’s out there, it’s out there. You can’t take it back. Several of the people I mentioned above with Twitter accounts are not only bloggers, but are reporters – darn good ones I might add. There is no such thing as an “off the record” comment that is publicly published. It just doesn’t work that way.

So, in these times of instant media and spontaneous sharing, you still need to take a moment and think before you let your fingers do the talking. Like I said, I think every political candidate and future political candidate should take advantage social media. But, I also believe that they ought to take the time to learn the rules of the game before they start playing.