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New Project: Public officials on Twitter

Matt Shapiro and I are collecting all tweets written by and mentioning members of Congress and Presidential appointees so we can study how they frame issues in social media. We’re especially interested in discussions related to climate change and comparing framing by members of Congress with appointees’ framing.

Out of the 961 public officials who could be tweeting, we found 471 Twitter usernames (actually, a few less than that because of duplicates like @gopconference). You can follow our lists on Twitter (via CaSMLab’s lists) and see data about who we’re following. Our list of appointees and members of Congress are current as of June 9,2011. We’ll continue collecting through the 2012 elections and hope to add candidates starting in January.

Thanks to Adam Green at 140dev.com, we have a very simple PHP database server collecting and parsing tweets by all the people we found. Adam also provides a barebones display of the collection we’ve made available on my lab’s website. We’ll be pretty-ing up that site in the future.

So, what do you think ?

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