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Some Crossroads leaders are discovering the Victoria Advocate Web site is a good way to reach out to the public.

I commend University of Houston-Victoria President Tim Hudson and Victoria County Election Administrator George Matthews for blogging regularly in an effort to educate and engage their audience. Both of their recent posts appeared this week on Page A2 of the print edition.

We hope other Crossroads leaders will seize this opportunity to both inform and listen to the people. For those concerned about comments that might cross the line, keep in mind that Advocate bloggers have the ability to police their own posts. The Advocate's review team also works with all bloggers to enhance the online community conversation.

Both Matthews and Hudson have experienced little or no trouble with trolls, the so-called bane of the Internet. With election season upon us, candidates might find this a particularly useful campaign tool. Victoria school board member Tami Keeling blazed the trail locally in doing this during her last campaign. We hope to feature this candidate blogs on our special Election Central site as we update it soon for the March primaries.

New media might seem daunting at first, but it's just another tool for connecting with others. For candidates, it's as old-fashioned as walking the precinct. If you're a public official and you aren't listening to the people, how well are you doing your job?