(slides 2MB)

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Twitter Use by the US Congress
Jennifer Golbeck, Justin Grimes, Anthony Rogers
College of Information Studies
HCIL
• Users post 140 character updates called “tweets”
• Can “follow” other users
• Over 100 million registered users
Talk is cheap, except when Congress does it.
-Cullen Hightower
Who is Tweeting?
Democrat
Republican
Independent
Visualizations created in NodeXL
What are they saying?
• Get all the tweets we can
• Read them
• Analyze the content
~6,000 tweets
Categories
•
•
•
•
•
Informational
Locations and Activities and Official Business
External and Internal Communication
Requesting action and Fundraising
Personal Messages
mlfudge: I’m
timryan:
@williamspa
now votingI will
for the
certainly
Emer do
Extended
my bestUnempl
to help compensation
the 11th Congressional
act of
MarkWarner:
JimDeMint: Why
Stopped
I voted
foragainst
a quickHillary
bite toClinton
eat at Sting-Rays
http://tinyurl.com/cxpclz
in Cape Charles.
2008. How
District
andcajn
fulfillwe
the
aspromise
a country,
to at
continue
a time when
Stephanies
American’s
work!are getting squeez.
Bottom Line
• The vast majority of tweets read like sound
bites
– Self promotion
– Soapbox-style position statements
…but there is potential!
• Some back and forth debates
• Some very useful communication between
representatives and constituents
• Some tweets improving transparency
Recommendations
• Use Twitter to communicate, not to broadcast
• Serve your Twitter constituents, not yourself;
provide insightful and useful information
• These rules apply to everyone – not just
Congress!
Questions?
• Jennifer Golbeck
• [email protected]
• Paper to appear in JASIST (Journal of the
American Society for Information Science and
Technology)
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