This is hardly breaking news since this article posted on the New York Times’ “Open” blog was done so on January 8th, but it is pretty fascinating stuff. This is a perfect example of how traditional news services like NYT are being forced to embrace Web 2.0 in order to survive and create innovative information.
As the 111th Congress begins, the Times is releasing an API which allows developers to access a variety of data about senators and representatives. So will iPhone users soon be checking up on the votes of their favorite congressperson in the same way they check their fantasy football team? Perhaps fantasy congress leagues are the wave of the future.
Irregardless of the emergence of a congressional stats iPhone app, this may usher in a new era of watch-dog citizenry. In the age of technology and transparency, we still don’t know a lot of what goes on in congress, unless we watch C-SPAN, but who does that? With the world getting lots of its information online, having web applications that will track congressional activity in extreme detail can provide the starving public with the information it needs to keep a watchful eye on its elected representatives.