After 6 weeks of "March Madness"-style fever, fervor, and anticipation,
the winners of the House Republican "New Media
Challenge" have emerged. Today, the competition's host, House
Republican Conference Vice Chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05),
announced that Rep. John Fleming (LA-04) rose above the rest (56
representatives participated) and gained more followers, subscribers and
friends on Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook, respectively.
As first prize
winner, Rep. Fleming receives an iPhone along with all the intrinsic
winning-induced bragging rights and all of his new
whole-point-of-the-contest social media contacts. Rep. Phil Gingrey
(GA-11) nabbed a flip cam for ranking 2nd, and 3rd place winner Rep.
Lamar Smith (TX-21) lucked out with a set of steak knives (symbolizing
the House Republicans' constant goal to stay on the "cutting edge" of
"On behalf of Chairman Mike Pence and the entire Republican
Conference, I am thrilled to congratulate the ‘Three Kings of New
Media'" said Vice Chair McMorris Rodgers. "The biggest winner, however,
was the Conference as a whole. From the start of the Challenge on April
19 to its completion on May 28, participating Members gained a total of
over 30,000 new Facebook fans, over 11,000 new Twitter followers, and
over 1,100 new YouTube subscribers."
The rise in numbers is impressive, indeed. The
current rates of new media participation amongst House Republicans are
89% on YouTube, 79% on Facebook and 64% on Twitter, a vast improvement
compared to January 2009, when just 56% were on YouTube, 37% on Facebook
and a mere 28% on Twitter. All these figures translate into
increasingly facilitated communication between representatives and their
Affecting a more open democracy with new media emerged as
the participants' emphasized "lesson learned" from the competition, as
summarized by House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Mike Pence:
"House Republicans know that New
Media is essential to communicating with the American people. We will
continue to make listening to the American people our top priority."