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3121: The Social Network that’s Just For Congress

July 28, 2009

Last week the internets saw the launch of yet another new social networking site, but this one with a twist: it’s just for Congress. Great, you think, so now members of Congress have their own private place to write on walls and poke each other and write passive-aggressive status updates!

But 3121, named for the phone extension of the Capitol switchboard, focuses on creating a dynamic directory of the tens of thousands of staffers that work on Capitol Hill — and at home in District offices.

I should probably disclose that 3121 is a project of the company I work for, in conjunction with the National Journal group. But this is exactly the kind of innovation going on at the intersection of politics and new media that will change the way our government operates.

Some highlights from the NMS blog:

  • 3121 is a dynamic directory: this means that in addition to having the information that we can provide you at National Journal, community members are able to update their own profiles. This makes users constantly accessible, so you’ll know who moved from HELP to Foreign Relations right when it happens.
  • 3121 is also a tool for collaboration: through our recommendation engine and with flexible, easy to navigate group pages, 3121 acts as a tool to help people better connect with relevant staffers to get their job done.
  • 3121 puts you in control and allows for a customizable dashboard and customized news. The more you get to know the system and the more we get to know you, the more 3121 will rearrange and deliver you what you need, when and where you need it. From news on your issue and Member, to positioning your own profile and collaboration tools front and center, we give you what you need to make it your own.

By combining a social network + Hill directory + news aggregator, 3121 can solve two problems that Hill staffers and Washington insiders are constantly dealing with: too much email and too much news. Can 3121 reduce this information overload and…perhaps…make Congress more efficient? 🙂 We’ll have to see. 3121 is in private beta right now, but will fully launch in September, and I’m excited to see it grow.

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One comment

  1. It will be interesting to see the effects (if any) this site will have…



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