The media generally covers any major updates, changes or events centered on Congress members. The problem is that these resources can become buried in other news while some items are brushed under the rug. The average user may be interested, but unable to keep up with all the articles, announcements and updates. LegiStalker is designed to give users a simple tool that provides them with all the latest online activity of Congress members. The site takes a mildly humorous approach with the idea that the user can “stalk” United States legislators (at least publicly). Users can toggle between news articles, Twitter updates, YouTube videos or all streams. A search tool is also provided to locate specific items by number, state, name or keyword. A right hand sidebar also provides user with a few “most likely to” lists, which include most likely to make headlines, most likely to Tweet and most likely to be in front of the camera.
LegiStalker was created by Forum One Communications, which was founded in 1996. The Forum One team includes Chairman Jim Cashel, CEO Chris Wolz, Project Director Joe Anderson, Managing Director Andrew Cohen, Content Strategy Lead Courtney Clark, Web Developer Norman Bucknor, Senior Web Programmers Chris Hall and William Hurley. LegiStalker earned an Apps for America second place award.
News feeds are a very popular way of staying on top of new developments. LegiStalker stands out because the application generates a feed based on Congress members. There are few other sites that cover all members of Congress using many popular resources. Users can discover Tweets, news stories, YouTube clips and more through LegiStalker.
The LegiStalker website seems a bit bland at first, but perhaps that is be expected given the site’s purpose. The clean blue logo is accented by a magnifying glass. The site uses a light blue header and white background to keep the focus on the important items: the content related to United States Congressmen and women.
A new user does not have to create an account to begin paging through the content feeds or toggling between resources. The search feature is also available to anyone. A “My Watch List” link found at the upper, right hand corner of the website allows users to build a list of favorite items; however this also does not require a log in. Anyone can enjoy LegiStalker at their leisure without creating an account.
LegiStalker pulls its content from other free resources. Each item is essentially available to anyone who is willing to look for it at no cost from the original source. It would seem a bit unreasonable for the site to charge for its services. The creators recognized this fact and made all access free to everyone. Users can search for specific items, browse news, Tweets and YouTube listings or perform a search and pay nothing. This is a great way to convert first time visitors into repeat visitors.
LegiStalker is a great service for anyone who is interested in the United States government. Users can follow their political party or look for major events focused on members of Congress. The site is very easy to use and requires no fees or registration so the user can get right to work catching up on Congress.