By Congresspedia assistant editor Avelino Maestas
Congresspedia was launched as a project that would enable Americans to participate in government, by researching and writing about their elected representatives and the lawmaking process. Bridging the divide between lawmakers and their constituents, through the use of technology, has been a central goal.
There are, of course, other resources where this connection is happening, and one that caught our attention lately is Twitter. The popular microblogging site allows users to post short, 140-character status updates, messages and announcements. Those following a user can receive an instant notification when that person "tweets."
Lately, more and more members of Congress have started using the service. Some have adopted it for campaign purposes (see Sen. Barack Obama) while others are using Twitter to inform their constituents about developments in Congress. For example, Rep. John Culberson was one of the first members to "tweet" from the floor of the House of Representatives.
By following members, other politicians, journalists and others, we have been tracking 37 members who use Twitter in some capacity. For those members we have identified, we have included their Twitter feed directly on the Congresspedia profile page. Just click their name on the list and you will be redirected to their page.
Our work closely mirrors Ari Herzog’s efforts to track government workers and other elected officials who are using Twitter. In addition, we should direct you to the Sunlight Foundation’s Let our Congress Tweet project. The Sunlight Foundation (which helps operate Congresspedia) advocates for reforms in the ways members communicate with constituents, especially with the emergence of Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
We need your help to find members who are using Twitter. If you know of a representative or senator not on our list, you can contact one of the staff editors or sign up for an account and add the information yourself.