By Pam Greenberg
Texas might be called the Twitter capital of the U.S., if measures passed this session are any indication.
You’ve heard about unusual state symbols in every state, but Texas is the first state to designate official legislative, state and tourism hashtags: #txlege, #texas, and #TexasToDo. Twitter mavens use hashtags—words or phrases, preceded by a #—to make it easier to find and follow Twitter messages about a specific topic or theme.
In the legislative world, hashtags have popped up to follow legislative activity in many states.
For example, to find tweets about the North Carolina General Assembly, check out the hashtag #NCGA; for Louisiana, #Lalege. In other states, try the two-letter state abbreviation, followed by “leg,” as in #nmleg or #WAleg.
The tweets you’ll see won’t be official, in Texas or any other state, but you’ll se what’s trending in the state at the moment.
Texas Representative Ken Sheets (R) (@RepKenSheets), who sponsored the measures, is also the sponsor of a resolution making Texas the first state to designate an official “Tweeter Laureate”—Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett (@JusticeWillett).
Read the resolution, H.R. 3375 (lavished with hashtags and praise) or his tweets and you’ll want to join the more than 18,500 followers of the judge, whose “warmth, deep respect for the law, and abiding love for #Texas” come through, and “whose highly entertaining tweets can be self-deprecating, gently satirical, or just plain goofy #dogplayingacowbell #nokidding.”
Pam Greenberg is a senior fellow at NCSL, where she monitors legislative information technology, privacy, public records and Internet policy issues, topics she has written about extensively.