Dramatic Eight Month Increase; 2,100 Government Twitter IDs Listed at New Website
Washington, D.C., July 24, 2009 – From the White House to 10 Downing Street, from Calif. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to Ariz. Senator John McCain, from the CDC to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, government use of the Twitter microblogging service has exploded in the last year. New website GovTwit.com has been tracking this growth, and now provides easy access to search and find who in government is using Twitter. GovTwit.com provides live tweetstreams, statistics and other features to help you find and follow over 2,100 government and government-related Twitter IDs worldwide.
According to social media news site Mashable, Twitter has grown a staggering 1,928 percent from June 2008 to June 2009; based on GovTwit statistics, government adoption of the service has grown nearly as rapidly. The GovTwit directory originally started as a simple blog post in November 2008, covering 150 names of government agencies and individuals using Twitter. Deemed by Mashable as “a great way to quickly find the typically tight-lipped types on Twitter,” and featured in The Washington Post, USA Today and other publications, the list increased more than 1,300 percent over the past eight months. As it outgrew its blog format, GovTwit has re-launched as a stand-alone website tied to Twitter’s flexible application interface (API) to deliver real-time tweets, stats and other information.
Built using a new Twitter directory platform called Floxee, GovTwit.com offers users a variety of features not found in static directory, blog or wiki-based lists. Some of the features include:
- Size – with over 2,100 IDs, GovTwit.com is by far the world’s largest directory of government Twitter IDs, and the site continues to add dozens of IDs each week
- Search – robust Delicious-like tagging and Twitter API integration allows searching of both people/agencies as well as tweets. Search from the home page, or narrow with tags, then search to drill-down to find what you want.
- Stats & Trending Topics – see follower-counts, what terms are most tweeted and more at directory, search and individual ID levels.
- Photos & Videos – get a view of what TwitPic or YFrog photos and YouTube videos directory members have posted on Twitter without ever leaving GovTwit.
- OAuth & Follow – securely link to your Twitter account from GovTwit.com to find and follow IDs directly from the directory with just a chick, or reply/retweet messages from any tweetstream.
“Government agencies and leaders worldwide have flocked to Twitter as a critical part of their citizen communications efforts,” said Steve Lunceford, a government industry consultant and creator of the GovTwit directory. “GovTwit.com hopes to capture as many of these IDs in a single place to help others find and follow the rich conversations about government innovation and improvement that are occurring every day on Twitter.”
10 Fast Facts About GovTwitting
- The White House is on Twitter, part of the Obama administration’s open and transparent government initiatives.
- Senator John McCain’s Twitter ID passed the 1 million follower mark in July 2009.
- Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood was the first cabinet member to start a personal Twitterstream.
- The EPA, CDC and FDA have made Twitter a central part of citizen outreach and education efforts around green/sustainability, and public health issues such as H1N1 and the peanut product recall.
- The Department of Defense is one of the largest government presences on Twitter, with over 112 IDs listed at GovTwit.com.
- State & Local use of Twitter has eclipsed that of the federal space (over 700 IDs in GovTwit), with cities pushing out news and introducing new citizen services (such as SF311).
- Massive live-tweeting by Congress of President Obama’s economic recovery speech in February 2009 caused a mini media firestorm.
- The State Department was one of the earliest federal agencies to use Twitter; in June 2009, a department staffer asked Twitter to delay planned technical maintenance of the service in order to allow messages from Iranian election protesters to continue to be shared worldwide.
- The U.K. leads the way with International IDs in the GovTwit directory (followed by Canada), including the UK Parliament and a new ID for the British Royal family that started in July.
- NASA has over 40 IDs in the GovTwit directory for various missions and individuals. It delivered the first tweet from space when astronaut Michael J. Massimino posted this on May 12, 2009: “From orbit: Launch was awesome!! I am feeling great, working hard, & enjoying the magnificent views, the adventure of a lifetime has begun!”
GovTwit.com is the world’s largest directory of government using Twitter, tracking U.S. state and local, federal, contractors, media, academics, non-profits and government outside of the U.S. In addition to the directory, GovTwit is on Twitter at http://Twitter.com/GovTwit and on Facebook at http://Facebook.com/GovTwit. Requests to be included in the directory can be sent as a message on Twitter to “@GovTwit.”
GovTwit.com is built using Floxee (http://Floxee.com), a new service of Squeejee, Inc., the developers behind the popular TweetCongress.org site. Floxee is currently in beta status and has built directories for groups on Twitter including Google (http://Google.Floxee.com), Mashable (http://Mashable.Floxee.com), Cision (http://Cision.floxee.com) and others. Visit http://Floxee.com to register for the beta, and follow them at http://Twitter.com/Floxee.