Lots to talk about today. First of all, I finally finished editing and updating the House, Senate and Governor pages. Of course this meant adding new members and dropping old ones. But I also went back and re-checked every Member of Congress and Governor that I had checked last summer and found lots of new accounts (see You Can Teach and Old Dog New Tricks) and well as some mistakes I had made early on, including mistakenly adding a lot of campaign accounts in lieu of office accounts. That has been fixed (hopefully).
The main reason I waited this long to update was obviously the election. There was not much change with previously elected members leading up to and immediately after the election, and new members only started adding their own social media accounts over the past few weeks. So I waited till mid February when a decent number of new members had started adding their own accounts before I began updating Congress as a whole. For the few new members who still have yet to update their official pages to indicate any social media use, I have left placeholders to indicate that I need to check back with that particular office.
Once I began updating the site last month, I started adding some information that I had always wanted to include but had not been able to figure out a useful way to include, until now. First, the “Last Name” is now linked to that Member’s web site. This is convenient for both the reader and me to have the ability to quickly check for new social media links. Second, I have added superscripts (for lack of a better term) to social media links where I think additional information about the account would be helpful. For now, those fall into 4 categories:
- Social Media accounts with a * next to them indicate that the account listed is a campaign account and NOT the office account. I include those ONLY when there is no official office account AND the campaign account is treated as their primary account. It would be misleading to say they had no official account when they tweet 3 times a day on their campaign account about official business.
- Facebook accounts with a ^ next to them indicate Facebook profiles and not fan pages. Profiles cannot be ranked. They are also not nearly as useful to the official.
- Accounts with an § next to them indicate that the account is not linked from their official web site. It’s a lot easier to learn if your elected official uses social media if they publicize it, and I believe it is important to point out when they fail to do so.
- Accounts with an ‡ indicate that the account is known to be updated by the Congressmen personally and not staff.
Now, when you sort by social media category, all of the accounts with extra information will pop out at the bottom of the list (this makes it easy to see how many Senators use Facebook profiles instead of fan pages – 2). Eventually, I’d like to expand upon #3 and the ease by which you can find their links. For example, sometimes it requires 3-4 mouse clicks and a bit of squinting to find the RSS feed or the youtube channel. If there is any other meta-information you would like to know about/see listed, please send in your suggestions.
Third, influence rankings for the Senate and Governors were updated in the last 30 days. This is not true of the House, which have not been updated for a 2 months. I will begin updating those today and will post again when that is finished. Eventually I’d like to create a separate table, maybe on the front page, of the most influential social media accounts from a mix government levels and campaigns.
Lastly, I need to update the @govsm lists of the House Senate and Congress. Those have not been updated since last summer and of course need to be pruned quite a bit. I’ll try and update that after I finish the House influence rankings.