With the critical 2012 election less than a year away and the first contests in the GOP presidential primary just a few weeks away, politics are about to explode in the Twittersphere—more so than they already have.

Twitter is ready.

Last week the social media company launched @Gov, an account from Twitter's Washington D.C.-based politics and government team. The goal of the account will be to tutor political Twitter users on positive ways they can increase civic engagement.

The new effort kicked off last week the the  tweet,  “Welcome to @gov! Stay tuned for best practices, case studies and other updates from the Twitter Government & Politics team.” The tweet also noted that any retweets it makes are not tantamount to making an endorsement and are only done to promote good examples of political tweets.

The account and team is headed up by Adam Sharp who, according to a MediaBistro article last year, was recently hired by Twitter to become a liaison between the social media company and Washington politicians and insiders. Sharp left a job at C-SPAN, where he was a digital services producer. Sharp brings experience from both media and politics; for four years he was a member of Louisiana Democratic Sen. Mary Landrieu's staff.

Within days of launching the new account, @Gov had more than 1,700 followers. Sharp and the folks behind the account were promising more in the coming days—and not just about politics in the United States.

“Nope -- not US only. Will have tips and examples from international Gov't/Politics as well,” they tweeted to one follower.

Photo by James D. Schwartz