Real Time+Congress+iPhone=Real Time Congress for iPhone

Can’t get enough of your favorite representatives’ foibles in and out of the House? Need to know what your senator is reading? Check out this great free iPhone application from Sunlight Foundation with real time information on the doings of Congress. The app shows live floor updates from the House and Senate as they happen (hence the real time aspect), reports and memos as they are published online by the Congressional Budget Office, the Congressional Research Service, Office of Management and Budget, party policy committees and other agencies, daily and weekly notices from the House Majority and Minority Whips, and schedules of upcoming hearings for the House and Senate.

What a great way to keep track of legislators and legislation while standing in line at the pharmacy!

And don’t despair, Android fans, there’s an app for that too.  Although not quite the same, the Android app provides:

  • Up-to-date info about members of Congress.
  • Find members of Congress by using your phone’s location, a zipcode, a last name, or a state.
  • Read tweets and watch videos from members’ Twitter and YouTube accounts.
  • Reply to a member of Congress on Twitter from within the app, using your own account.
  • Read the latest news about them, using the Yahoo News API.
  • Create desktop shortcuts to individual members of Congress.

Great tip from Resource Shelf.

Great Government Goods

Lots of new tools and updated features on old tools coming on line for federal information tracking. Peggy Garvin at LLRX lists the goods in her article here. Many of the changes involve Twitter for updating and tracking the progress of legislation, as well as RSS feeds for ongoing news. I won’t provide the entire list of tools, as it is lengthy, but I do urge anyone interested in federal legislative and conressional research to hit the jump above and check out all the new ways our government is looking to the Web to assist in providing open access to public information. 

One interesting point: if you are looking to tweet about specific legislation yourself, the article suggests using hashtags, such as #usbill or a hashtag with the bill number, such as #hr3200. This will assist the government sites in collecting relevant information, which can then be compiled and broadly shared.