The GOP is not letting up on our efforts to be on the cutting edge of new media and social networking. We just finished crowning our winner for the House Republican New Media Competition (congrats Rep. Fleming!) and things aren't slowing down.
Recently, our efforts were covered by The Hill, OhMyGov!, Mother Jones, Congressional Quarterly and the Weekly Standard. See a few excerpts of this coverage below:
For his victory, Fleming won an iPhone. Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.), won a flip cam for his second-place finish and Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) took home some steak knives for his third-place spot, "to symbolize the need for House Republicans to stay on the 'cutting edge' of new media."
Who’s winning the social media war on Capitol Hill? The Republicans—and they are slaughtering the Democrats. Here’s but one example: House Minority Leader John Boehner has 75,443 Facebook fans and Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi has 20,445. (And the "Impeach Pelosi" Facebook page has more than 80,000.)
Certainly, in embracing a freewheeling way of communicating, House Republicans are serving notice that they’re tired of playing second to Democrats, who effectively used the Internet to reach voters and raise money in 2006 and 2008. As national chairman, Howard Dean revolutionized the Democrats’ fundraising and outreach efforts by collecting tens of millions of dollars in contributions from millions of online donors. Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California also has used an aggressive online strategy to raise money and get out her party’s message unfiltered by the mainstream media
The Weekly Standard
We are in the midst of another transformation right now. Last week, House Republicans announced a new initiative called America Speaking Out. It represents the next iteration of applied technology in the governing sphere.
For quite some time now, we here at OhMyGov! have been harping on about social media's usefulness for improving government transparency and communication. It's not surprising that new media services such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter have emerged as forums for facilitated engagement between representatives and their constituents. However, some Congressmen have been quicker than others to embrace these new media. Sometimes, a bit of good friendly competition is necessary to really get people involved. Luckily, Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers has launched the New Media Challenge, a competition for the House Republican Conference to expand their presence on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter... tournament-style.