It looks like the FDA is finally getting in on the 21st century’s approach to social media marketing. Now that its Center for Veterinary Medicine is hosting a webinar this upcoming Tuesday, I guess their net-savviness status is official.

But the FDA’s vet sector isn’t going to stop there. No, it’s looking beyond the Twitter to help get its message across when alerts happen and basic news needs to get out. Instead of oh-so-last-decade email alerts, in 2010 it’s headed to blogs like mine with the power of the lowly widget to disseminate news in one fell swoop....across the animal-loving internet.

Here’s the message I received from an FDA communications rep:

“I am writing to invite you to attend a free Animal Health and Safety Widget Webinar for Bloggers hosted by the FDA on Tuesday, December 8, from 3:00 to 3:30 p.m. ET. The featured speakers, Dr. Joshua Sharfstein, Principal Deputy Commissioner of the FDA, and Dr. Bernadette Dunham, Director of FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine, will focus on the importance of animal health and safety for both animals and pet owners. After the presentations, there will be an opportunity to ask questions and/or offer feedback. Read more about this free webinar.

One of the FDA’s priorities is to promote animal health and safety information. Toward that end, FDA is developing an Animal Health and Safety widget to make it easier for you to receive and share animal health information. The widget is a Web application that contains FDA animal health and safety news alerts and tips. It displays this content on any blog or Web page. The content requires no manual updates because it is automatically updated by the FDA.

If you can attend, please send an RSVP to [email protected] then we will email you the webinar access information. This is an open webinar so please invite others that you think may be interested. We will be using the Twitter hashtag #FDApet if you’d like to tweet about or follow the webinar on Twitter.”

I kinda like it. Not only does it get me to thinking the FDA actually cares about informing the animal health-inclined public, I actually think it might work. But I guess that all depends on the widget––not to mention the widgeteer behind the curtain.