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There’s a cultural shift happening on Capitol Hill. Thanks to President Obama and newer Members of Congress who have demonstrated how to successfully connect with supporters using Web 2.0 tools, more and more Congressional Members are diving into the Web 2.0 world.
According to Ellen Miller, Executive Director of the Sunlight Foundation, “Government is among the last groups of people to figure this out, but the change is coming fast now. Soon enough, it will seem quaint for a lawmaker to not fully engage with constituents using the communications tools available. I'm sure none want to wind up like former Senator Jim Exon, who was the last Member of Congress with an office filled with typewriters.”
In the winter of 2008 the Republicans launched The Republican New Media Caucus to assist House Republicans in ramping up their Web 2.0 efforts with briefings and recommendations.
“By engaging both Members and staff, we are working to bring awareness to everyone and emphasize Web 2.0’s importance.Providing both education and tangible skill development we hope to make it easier for Members and staff to transition in these new mediums.Our constituents have also reciprocated this effort by responding to our efforts, further encouraging us to expand the use of Web 2.0 and online tools to directly communicate with them,” said Congressman Bob Latta who represents Ohio’s 5th Congressional District.
Miller says it’s important for lawmakers to understand the benefits of using social media and their own official websites to improve transparency and communication and citizen engagement in their work. Read more.