Thursday, November 27, 2014

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Politicians start to catch on to this whole Internet thing

Six years ago, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens famously described the internet as a “series of tubes”. Never mind the fact that Stevens was, to some extent, correct – the declaration stood as a prime example of just how technologically benighted our political class had become.

The Congressional Internet Caucus, a bipartisan group of over 150 House and Senate members, is looking to change that. Among the group’s stated goals, “Promoting the education of Members of Congress and their staff on Internet-related issues.”

The Caucus is actually in its 15th year, but only recently has interest surged in the group’s educational events and conferences.

It helps that more web-savvy politicos are making it into positions of power. Rep. Zoe Lofgren, who represents Silicon Valley in the House, has taken coding classes at Stanford and even asked Reddit for help in drafting a new copyright law. And Rep. Jared Polis founded BlueMountainArts.com and ProFlowers before dedicating himself to philanthropy and politics.

When politicians do embrace the web, the results are not always positive, however. Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner’s discovery that Twitter could be used to impress the ladies with his abs and other regions comes to mind.

The Advisory Committee to the Congressional Internet Caucus is looking for some help in spreading the world. If you’re interested, check out more information here.

Now go forth (and caucus).

 

Nitty Gritty:

47: # of U.S. Senators on Twitter

815,000+: # of retweets received by @BarackObama’s post-relection message

11: Days since @repWeiner’s last tweet, “Llp@”.


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