By JOE NEWMAN
A minute before 3 p.m. on Dec. 22, the Project On Government Oversight reached a milestone, of sorts.
Paraphrasing a line from the movie Animal House, Scott Amey, POGO's long-time general counsel, launched his first salvo into the twittersphere, boldly venturing into a brave, new (to him) world.
For us at POGO, it capped a pretty remarkable transition into social media that took place in 2011. Consider that 30 years ago when POGO was founded, or even 8 years ago when Scott rejoined POGO as general counsel, interaction between our staff and the general public was pretty much a one-way affair. You read about our reports if they were picked up by the media and, if you were extremely motivated, you might have tracked down our address and sent us a letter.
Now, not only can you keep up with our investigations and daily musings on a slew of social media networks, you can actively engage with some of the non-profit world's top experts on national security, government accountability and federal contracting (to find a list of Scott and other POGO staffers on Twitter, click here).
Our website and blog continue to attract readers like never before. We went over 1 million pageivews a year for the first time in 2011.
Another major step forward for us was that for the first time in our history, we launched online activism campaigns.Tens of thousands of people joined us last year in writing letters to President Obama, members of Congress and agency directors to advocate for better government.
Connecting with our supporters, critics and the general public keeps us grounded in the real world -- it's easy to lose yourself in the insular world of Washington policymakers. And as the media landscape transforms, our growing social networks allow us to get out reports directly into the public eye without filtering the message through the mainstream media.
So, if you haven't done so, we hope you'll connect with us online, share our reports with your circle of friends and take the time to tell us what you think about our work.
Joe Newman is POGO's Director of Communications.