Cal-EPA chief is all a-Twitter in China

If you're all atwitter to read about Cal-EPA Secretary Linda Adams' trip to China, here's your chance: Adams is posting updates on her trip with blogging, Twitter and Facebook, accompanied by photos of Adams at Chinese restaurants and meeting government and business officials.

"The California Environmental Protection Agency is joining the social networking revolution," the agency told "friends and colleagues" in an April 22 email.

Joining the revolution means that Adams – or somebody on her staff — is posting brief updates on Twitter – a popular networking site where burst messages are limited to 140 characters – and on Facebook, where people post details about their activities, colleagues, friends, family and other items of interest.

The tweets aren't breathless or compelling — this is government, after all – but they are informative and give a sense of real-time pacing, which is the point.

"Getting ready to speak to a packed crowd at AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) on federal economic stimulus," Adams tweeted. "Panel moderator keeps using terms ‘black company' versus ‘green company' – what do you think about the labeling?" Adams asked about two dozen readers following her tweets. "Meeting with NRDC (China's agency in charge of climate) was very successful, more on my blog…" she said, noting that on the way to the meeting, "the traffic is terrible in rain."

It's routine stuff, but in world of the state bureaucracy, it reflects something of a sea-change: A powerful state agency using social networking devices to get real-time messaging directly to readers and viewers. Presumably, they aren't replacing press releases, although the most recent press release released by Cal-EPA was April 16, according to agency's web site, while the blogging and Twittering is current.

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