The use of social media and other user-driven content sites have become more popular in politics after the 2008 Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. Since this media campaign, there has been a growing interest in the social sciences to study the impact of social media and social networks. At the beginning of the 112th Congress in January 2011, each Congressional member was issued a BlackBerry for Congressional use. Social media is clearly present in politics, as well as the halls of the Capitol Building.
My proposed research question: What do the social networks of Senators in Congress look like on Twitter?
From the literature on Congress, we would expect that Constituents and other Congressional members will most certainly be a part of these social networks. Using Radian 6 and content analysis of Tweets on the topics of a few key issues may be able to provide a sense of the influences that a Senator on Twitter. I look to evaluate 10 Senators (5 Democrats and 5 Republicans) who are active on Twitter, and see if the theories of social networks of Congressional members holds up in the traditional literature.