Tags: Congress | social | media

Congress Increasingly Using Social Media

Tuesday, 02 Aug 2011 07:14 AM

By T.M. Golub

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Lawmakers are making good use of a modern-day soapbox in trying to speak directly to constituents: social media outlets, reports the conservative website Heritage.org.
 
A survey of 260 congressional staffers conducted in late 2010, ”#SocialCongress: Perceptions and Use of Social Media on Capitol Hill” by the Congressional Management Foundation, says lawmakers are using this new form of communication for everything from reaching out to their constituents to canvassing the Internet for new votes.
 
In light of candidate Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign for the Oval Office and his successful, unprecedented use of social media, many on Capitol Hill are following the president’s lead and incorporating this form of communication in their day-to-day affairs.
 
“Social media tools have been adopted more rapidly than previous technologies,” said Bradford Fitch, president and CEO of the Congressional Management Foundation. “These technologies are starting to change how Congress communicates with their constituents and is allowing members to reach citizens who otherwise might not engage in the democratic dialogue.”
 
With nearly 80 percent of Americans using the Internet for everything from making purchases to corresponding with long-lost friends, it makes sense to incorporate sites like Facebook, Twitter, and the like, for the dissemination of myriad policies and decisions, including those related to the ongoing debt-ceiling debate, Heritage.org says.

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