Parliament and social media
Since the number of social network users has mushroomed in recent years, parliaments, including the Riigikogu, can no longer ignore them.
At a time when the Riigikogu web page attracts around 6000 visitors during sitting weeks, the search for new e-communication channels is only to be expected. Our European Union Affairs Committee has already joined Facebook as well as Twitter and regularly posts there. New social media are continuously gaining popularity among our MPs (33 % have a Facebook account, 27 % write a blog, 13 % use Twitter).
Since the summer of 2010, social media channels have been linked to the new web pages of our MPs. In view of the rapid spread of electronic social media network and the wish of the MPs to communicate with the public via social media, links to social networks are an amply justified part of MPs sites. An information seeker thus enters into a personal contact with an MP and can give them direct feedback in issues of interest.
In order to present the work of the Riigikogu more efficiently and communicate better with the general public and the media, it is pertinent to use complementing means for information disclosure in addition to the traditional channels (e.g. press releases, live broadcasts of sittings online, verbal information, e-mails). These include a more active introduction of social networks on the one hand, and the transfer of the Riigikogu web channel to a new, more television-like web-TV level on the other. Social networks and particularly their flagship Facebook have come to stay as far as Internet users are concerned, and parliaments must not miss this train either.