I’ve always wanted to write a column.
Don’t get me wrong, my morning show on 93.3 The Eagle is enough of a forum to say what I want, but there’s just something about being READ. It’s been said that the ultimate form of caring is to be listened to, but honestly, with the way our ADHD society is, who nowadays gets READ? Well, I’m hoping me.
So when the Fayetteville Flyer told me what they wanted in a column, I was happy to do what they said. Actually, they had pretty liberal parameters. Write about our area, be relevant, be original, talk about a variety of subjects, etc. I thought those were all great ideas. Why would I not follow those orders? We already have Wally Hall.
There’s so much going on here in Fayetteville and the surrounding areas anyway. Elections, Razorback baseball and spring football, millages to be voted down, road construction to lag behind, graduation ceremonies, pollen so insidious I can write my name on the layer of it on my car…but I want to talk about the man that leads Fayetteville, Mayor Lioneld Jordan. Not only does he lead the voters of Fayetteville and our city council, he also has another powerful constituency of motivated tax payers.
Jordan has nearly 4,700 Facebook friends.
That’s not his “page” or “fan group” or something you can “like,” although Hizzoner does have a “page” as a “government official” that is “liked” by almost 600 people as well.
That’s 4,700 people that are friends with Jordan on the man’s profile page that people by the hundreds respond to daily. And they are indeed responding to Hizzoner.
I have personally met a lot of state congresspersons, state senators, mayors, a few governors, some US House and Senate members and even one president. And I have to tell you that I am positive if you were to ask them all what a “Facebook” was, I would bet that most of them would say it’s what they had their classmates sign at the end of the year in school. Don’t even make me guess what they would think a “Twitter” is.
But Mayor Jordan? The man is a Facebooking legend. I’ve actually had people complain to me about it. “Our Mayor Facebooks all day, doesn’t he have anything better to do?” Well, let’s take a look about what he posts and says.
His statuses are 100% one of two things: inspirational, positive quotes from famous people (“A man does not have to be an angel in order to be saint.” — Albert Schweitzer…that’s a recent one) or updates on good news from around Fayetteville and surrounding areas (congratulating winners in the previous night’s Northwest Arkansas Music Awards and a link to the Pagnozzi Charities Grand Slam Celebration raising money for local kids who may not be able to afford sports gear were recent posts.)
I was approached in the days before Representative Boozman announced HIS candidacy for the US Senate about MY interest in the 3rd Congressional District seat here in Arkansas that Mr. Boozman was vacating. I got a firsthand example of the power of social networking in the days that followed after I announced I was considering a run. Holy moly. I got messaged by everyone under the sun with advice, well wishes, discouragement, encouragement, everything. It was overwhelming, but enlightening.
I mean what registered voters aren’t on Facebook or Twitter? I’m guessing most voters between the ages of 18-54 indeed are. If you live in Fayetteville, and you are on Facebook, there is a 99% chance you share buddies with the Mayor. I’m on Facebook, and I share 599 people as friends with him! The viral nature of these sites almost guarantee that he can reach out to any Fayettevillian and share his thoughts and views with them, often.
Kudos to Mayor Jordan for seizing the day via social networking to reach out to his constituents. Not only does he deserve credit for doing it, as a friend of mine on Facebook, his posts are 100% positive and informative. In a lot of cities and towns across America, elected officials could walk right up to you on the street and you’d never know who they were or why they mattered to your day to day life in that town. I’m pretty sure that very few people in Fayetteville wouldn’t recognize their mayor or his name. And that is a great thing for both Fayettevillians and their mayor.
(Jon “likes” this.)
NOTE: Facebook seems to be experiencing a bug right now which returns a “Page Not Found” error when trying to access some Facebook profiles (including Mayor Jordan’s) if you’re not logged in. Once logged in, facebook.com/lioneld.jordan works just fine.
Jon Williams is a contributor for the Fayetteville Flyer. He also hosts “The Jon Williams Show” mornings on Clear Channel’s 93.3 The Eagle and has lived in Northwest Arkansas for 20 years. Jon’s world revolves around his son Jack and wife Judy, and invites you to join the Loyal and Royal Army of his listeners on Facebook. For more of Jon’s contributions, visit his author page.