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Tweeting THOMAS and Connecting with Congress

We’re big into Twitter here at the Library of Congress.  The Library of Congress account is closing in on 100,000 followers.   The Law Library account has grown steadily since its launch last October.  I work with a colleague to tweet for the @LawLibCongress account.  Twitter can be a great tool for both finding out about legislation and what Congress is thinking.

THOMAS

In THOMAS, you can tweet directly from legislation.  Using H.R. 1586 as an example, look in the top right, click on Share/Save and then Twitter. Twitter opens in a new window  (and assuming you are signed in), you get:

THOMAS – Bill Summary and Status – H.R.1586 – http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.uscongress/legislation.111hr1586

I normally make a couple of changes before tweeting a bill.  I add .gov to THOMAS (so I can find tweets about THOMAS.gov and not just everyone named Thomas), change the legislation number to a hashtag (so it’s easier for others to find), shorten the link, and add the general #usbill hashtag.  So it turns into something like this:

THOMAS.gov Weekly Top Bill – #HR1586 – http://go.usa.gov/c8t #usbill

Congress

Twitter can be a quick way to see what your Member is thinking or working on.  There are several sites that try to pull together all the Members of Congress Twitter accounts.  One that focuses specifically on Twitter is TweetCongress,  which proclaims:

We the Tweeple of the United States, in order to form a more perfect government, establish communication, and promote transparency do hereby tweet the Congress of the United States of America.

Another that includes Twitter but is a little broader (including news and YouTube updates) is Legistalker.  The Congressional focused newspaper, The Hill, has a blog focusing on Congressional tweets, The Hill’s Twitter Room.  Or you can find an app for that like Congress 411 (iPhone) or Congress (Android).

There are several ways to keep up with what’s going on in Congress through Twitter.  How do you keep up?

3 Comments

  1. Hanibal
    August 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    Nice post!

  2. Mike Bluestein
    September 19, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    Thanks for mentioning my Congress 411 app Andrew. Are there any features you would like to see added?

    Thanks,
    Mike Bluestein

  3. Andrew Weber
    September 20, 2010 at 8:27 am

    Adding an all bills sponsored by a Member link to THOMAS would be nice. You could also add links to each Member’s Facebook page.

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