He is also a fan of home-state sports — at many levels. When Thompson's local Little League baseball team was living the dream, he was there to root them on. The boys of Keystone Little League, of Clinton County in Thompson’s 5th District, found themselves competing in the Little League World Series in South Williamsport this summer. But before they made it that far, the congressman was on the road at 4 a.m. to cheer them on in Connecticut for the Mid-Atlantic regional match-up.
He tweeted, “Attending the 2011 Little League Baseball Eastern Regional game where Clinton County Keystone Team is playing the New Jersey Paramus Team.”
Back in South Williamsport for the Series, Thompson kept fans who couldn’t make it up-to-date, live tweeting from the sidelines throughout one of the games. The team finished third in the nation, after winning state and regional titles.
Just shy of 4,000 followers as @CongressmanGT, Thompson said he began using Twitter as a member of Congress in January 2009, soon after he was sworn in. He said he earns his followers the hard way, one by one — not by following multitudes of people to drive his numbers up, as some members do. For the most part, he runs his Twitter account himself. He said his staff occasionally helps him with technical aspects, like uploading pictures and tweeting press releases.
Thompson said he’s using social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook as a means to fill the void between his constituents and Washington. He said he’ll sometimes reach out to different groups of people by what he calls "micro-targeting," using Twitter hashtags on topics like energy, healthcare and education.
He also promotes his own hashtags on occasion, including one he uses to tweet scenic Pennsylvania landscapes that he hopes will gain popularity.
"I'm still hoping #pawilds will catch on," Thompson said. "If nothing else, I'm able to show people what a beautiful district I cover."