It was only a matter of time before members of the US Congress began to really take advantage of mobile technology and some of the social media tools that are sweeping the Internet, Twitter being one example. Of course in the venerable halls of our national legislature we’ve got those who are up on what’s happening working side by side with those who still might think the Internet is a series of tubes. We’ve also got those who like to try to control things a bit. Robert Scoble recently took a well publicized trip to Washington DC and of course he was doing his usual QIK video interviewing.
Now it seems some in Congress aren’t too thrilled with the new tools. Scoble and Andrew Feinberg are both talking about a Democrat leadership reaction that got featured in today’s New York Times against the use of Twitter, QIK, and other tools. Apparently the leadership isn’t too thrilled with the immediate access that this kind of communication provides and would like to insert some pre-approval into the process.
Of course when this gets bogged down in politics it gets wrapped in issues of free speech, use of public funds, censorship, and other big issues. But the real issue here is that those on both sides who understand the importance of how fast these tools can shift the landscape are waging a battle over how respective messages are communicated.
The New York Times features a story about US Rep Jon Culbertson (R) of Texas who uses Twitter daily to broadcast what he’s thinking and doing and how there is now a proposal to impose new guidelines on the use of these social tools by Congressmen. That of course could include blogs. The other side, led by US Rep Michael E. Capuano (D) say they are only concerned about video, and apparently this escalated into Culbertson trying to video Capuano with a Nokia N95 and QIK video over the fight.
However this turns out, it looks like the rapidly changing landscape that these tools have ushered in will continue to boil the pot that is US politics.