Friday, April 24, 2009

The word on the tweet is: information

Online networking sites like Twitter have opened up new avenues of communication, and truckers are among those tapping into the information stream.

Networking is simply another way – not the only way, but another way – of getting the latest on something going on.

Recently, we’ve seen growing numbers of lawmakers, including governors and members of Congress, getting their own Twitter and Facebook pages.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger posts on Twitter fairly often. He recently conducted an “Ask the Governor” session exclusively through Twitter, receiving hundreds of questions. He addressed some of them during a live Web cast on the state of California homepage.

I thought, why not? I’ll ask something for the heck of it.

For my question, I looked no further than a recent letter that OOIDA President and CEO Jim Johnston sent to the governor on the topic of “hot fuel.” (If you don’t know what hot fuel is, check out www.turndownhotfuel.com/).

Johnston is urging Schwarzenegger to require California fuel retailers to implement new devices at the pump to make temperature part of the equation during the sale of retail fuel. If you didn’t know, fuel is currently sold by volume only. If it’s a hot day and the liquid has expanded in the tanker truck or hasn’t cooled from the refiner, the consumer is left paying for fuel energy he or she doesn’t receive.

Our question to the governor was fair and was well within Twitter’s maximum of 140 characters. “Will you implement Automatic Temperature Compensation at all fuel pumps as a matter of fairness to consumers?”

I would love to report to you that Gov. Schwarzenegger chose to answer our question on his Web cast, but alas he didn’t. Our question was but one in a vast sea of social-networking queries ranging from “What do you think of the Miss USA controversy?” to “How will you fix our energy crisis?”

But his efforts to connect with the public online are commendable. The governor and others like him continue to branch out using all the tools, including online networking, that are available to them.