Member of Congress Tweets
February 8, 2012
The Librarian of Congress caused a little stir on the Hill this week when he was asked about archiving all the Twitter feeds. Members of Congress questioned the value and the expense to archive all Twitter feeds. Now, archiving and Congress is something close to our heart here at the C-SPAN Archives.
We can attest to the size of the endeavor from our own experience. Since 2009 we have been following Members of Congress feeds. We now follow 371 House and 84 Senate members. These members have generated 29,000 tweets. But, that is only part of the story. We also follow all the responses that these tweets generate. When we include those, the number balloons to 1.8 million tweets archived. For example, a tweet by Speaker Boehner on the budget the other day generated over 1,000 responses. On average, each tweet generates 62 responses.
These tweets can be found on the member’s bio page. You can click on reply and see how individuals have responded to the original tweet.
It is early to know the value of these Twitter feeds in the long term. On the short term, they provide a snapshot into the concerns of members of Congress and the reaction that these concerns generate. The size of this archive is small, just 450 megabytes, but it is but a small fraction of all daily tweets that the Library of Congress might archive.
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