On My Real-Time Twitter Coverage Of The Debt Debate

If you follow me on Twitter, you know that my feed has been consumed over the last few days by the debt debate that has engulfed Washington.

The debt debate isn’t exactly sexy stuff. Talk of triggers, sequestrations and CBO scores makes most people cringe.

So why did I spend my weekend tweeting about what was going on? Because, somehow, I found an audience. Having reported from the Hill before and having studied Congress in-depth in college, I felt qualified to tweet about, explain and analyze what was going on.

I follow a bunch of Capitol Hill reporters, and when they tweeted news or unique analysis, I retweeted them to share with everyone. I also follow “official” accounts — those of spokespeople and members of Congress themselves. There was news to be retweeted there as well.

The debt debate is a perfect example of the old saying that Congress is a sausage factory. But, people seemed to enjoy my tweets about it. So I kept going.

Not only did my following grow on Twitter, but I was thanked and complimented lots. People also asked me questions, and I answered to the best of my ability.

Community building is a term that’s thrown around a lot on this blog and elsewhere, and to me it’s kind of cliche, but this really was a perfect example of it.

I felt that my tweeting contributed to the community. At the same time, I benefited from the contributions of others on Twitter who had their own unique news and insights to share about the debate.