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CongressTwitters [UPDATED]

BY Micah L. Sifry | Thursday, June 12 2008

Have we spotted (or started) a trend? Now, after my story on Rep. John Culberson's Twittering from the House floor, "CrackBerry Addicts vs Twittering Sunlighters," Rep. Tim Ryan has just tweeted that he is "getting ready to twitter from the House floor."

This is so cute. "It's like watching a child learning to go to the toilet on their own. 'Look, ma, I'm twittering!'"

Seriously, my understanding is that CongressTwitters are in violation of a House rule prohibiting the usage of electronic wireless devices from inside the chamber. Tell that to the Crackberry users...

[UPDATE: A high-ranking source on the Hill emailed me to correct that: "You can’t use 'wireless phones and you can’t use 'personal computers but blackberries, pagers, and texting are allowed. I believe it was after Sept 11th that the rules were changed due to the communications breakdown that happened, but I can find the language for you if it’s of interest. Also, if you watch CSPAN 1 for more than two minutes, you’ll see at least one Member or staff blackberrying."}

Oh, look, he did another! His staffer better explain about that 140 character limit, though.

Ryan is well-known as one of the only Members to actively use social networking sites like Facebook, by the way. Good for him, and glad he's showing that conservative Republicans aren't the only ones willing to brave the House's archaic rules to connect to the public in new ways. Hats off to the CongressTwitters!

UPDATE: Look, ma! We're talking to each other using an open user-centric tool!