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The $7,500 Fail Whale…

10:00 AM EDT on October 27, 2009

This past week, the Oklahoma Twitterverse became slightly unraveled when it was revealed that ODOT's new Twitter account was constructed by Saxum PR for $7,500.  From NewsOK.com:

State Transportation Department officials are touting their latest way to get information out about traffic and construction updates.

The department is using Twitter, a social networking site, to get information out about the agency and its work through tweets.

The department has picked up more than 500 followers since launching its pilot Twitter program earlier this month...

Tweets are monitored, and a general tweet will be posted if several postings inquire about certain conditions or delays, Gotcher said...

The department hired Saxum Public Relations of Oklahoma City to help with its Twitter account and analyze its effectiveness. The firm was paid $7,500.

Yep.  The Oklahoma Department of Transportation just paid Saxum PR $7,500 to create and "analyze" a Twitter account.  There's no word if ODOT also bought the clear coat rust protection, extended warranty and a credit report monitoring service, but I wouldn't be surprised if they did.

Seriously, $7,500 to create a Twitter account and get 500 followers?!?  That seems kind of steep.  Hell, it only took us five minutes to create a fake ODOT twitter account and then analyze that it's much better than ODOT's official one.  It's more entertaining, too.  Check these tweets out:

"¢ Odds that the Crosstown Bridge crumbles today: 6%

"¢ We shouldn't have to tell u this, but don't give money to the homeless guy on 1-44 and Penn.

"¢ North Meridian between Reno and 23rd is an absolute cluster f*ck. Avoid.

Anyway, I know people are quick to blame Saxum for swindling the state "” especially those self-anointed Social Media Gurus who are jealous of them"” but if someone offered us $7,500 to make a Twitter account, we'd take it.  In fact, we'd probably go all out and create an ODOT mascot based upon a "MASH" or "All in the Family" character.  We'd do that for only $5,000 more.  That's a value.

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