As I noted, I had the pleasure of attending CongressCamp, an “unconference” centered on “transforming citizen engagement with Congress through social media and collaboration tools.” Before beginning to write my own inadequate summary of the weekend’s events, I was fortunate to discover ForumOne Communications Influence Blog. In one post they capture the essence of many of the topics discussed and recorded a lot of the tools and links that are worth discovering, not merely for those on the legislative side. For those on the Hill, one thing that stood out was the gap between campaign technology and the resources available to members. It seemed like many members’ offices lack the staff and other resources to develop collaboration tools, notwithstanding the excitement that surrounds some of these tools and strategies.
The full list of “case studies” discussed at one CongressCamp session is worth reviewing. Officeholders are using Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and other services in a number of interesting strategies. Newsweek’s “Tweeting the Electorate” is also a timely introduction to those tweeting on the Hill.
One CongressCamp session featured a preview of 3121, a new directory, social networking, and collaboration tool for the Hill. (The site takes its name from the last four digits of the Capitol’s directory assistance phone number). The site launched today and Alex Howard has screenshots and an interview with National Journal’s Chief Technology Officer Chris Contakes here.
This is just the start of the interesting projects and ideas that the group discussed. I’ll write more about CongressCamp and an exciting new project that is coming out of the event in the weeks ahead.