Energy Secretary Steve Chu has launched a Facebook page that features a photo album with assorted official and unofficial photos, including one with Brad Pitt. And yes, there are plenty of messages about fighting global warming and other political messages.
Chu already proves popular. He has more than 1,000 friends now. Chu has also launched a Flickr and YouTube page.
The Facebook page contains videos showing Chu speaking at various events, touting the administration's policy and explaining some energy research. On the top of his wall is a talk about turning miscanthus, a fast-growing grass, into biofuel.
The U.S. Department of Energy's website also has a video collection, but that's hosted by Vimeo.
You can find out quite a bit about Chu beyond his political persona. For example, we now know that he likes do crossword puzzles with his wife, Jean. He has seen the movie Casablanca "about a dozen times."
He said he's trying to learn how to play golf. That reminded me of a quip he made during his science-filled speech at the Edison Electric Institute's annual meeting in San Francisco last month: "Most experiments fail. But there is enough success to keep going. It's kind of like golf."
Using social media sites to broadcast political messages is nothing new, of course. It seems like a good idea, or at least according to the conventional wisdom. Maybe there is enough success in this approach to keep going.
The White House also has a Facebook page, and attracting people who leave all sorts of messages that have nothing to do with the political messages posted there.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has a page, too, and it's filled with a lot of state budget items.