September 26th, 2012

Today is the day the FCC followed me on Twitter

Of the 54 accounts that the Federal Communications Commission’s official Twitter account currently follows, four belong to individuals. Two are FCC commissioners, one is the Secretary of Transportation, and one is me.

Strange, I agree. But let me back up a bit. Several months ago — mostly as a joke — I decided to take up the cause of getting the FCC to follow me. I tweet about wireless policy from time to time, and I like to think that I make some good points, so why not? I can’t say with much confidence that anyone on the FCC’s side is actually reading tweets directed at the account, much less taking action on them… but hey, let’s suspend reality for a moment.

In the months since, I’d occasionally send out blasts of tweets suggesting that @FCC check me out. I didn’t have much hope, but I never gave it up entirely. I eventually got some traction: so much so, in fact, that PhoneDog’s handsome editor-in-chief Aaron Baker wrote and starred in an ad telling my story.

Yeah, that’s how far we’d come. It was starting to get serious — I could practically taste the follow. It was within reach! My grassroots effort had taken on a life of its own.

The breakthrough, though, came just yesterday when my colleague and friend Nilay Patel spoke to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski at Vox Media’s headquarters in Washington, DC. Something happened — the details are murky, but here we are twenty-four hours later and I’m suddenly in one of the most elite social circles in the beltway. No big deal.

So will the FCC keep following me? Hard to say: looking through the list, I think I’m the only person there who isn’t a government employee, agency, or building. But it doesn’t matter, I set my sights on a goal and I made it happen. Well, Aaron Baker and Nilay Patel did. But you get the idea.

Don’t let anyone tell you the American Dream is over, folks, because I’m living it.

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