How to use Sunlight’s tools to follow the government shutdown


A sign about the 2013 government shutdown seen outside a fence around the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC. Here’s a brief round up of a number of Sunlight tools that you can use to follow updates on the ongoing government shutdown.

Scout – Sunlight’s alert system is a great resource for getting updates on specific issues. We’ve created a collection for the shutdown that will email or text you when speeches mention relevant terms or bills relating to the shutdown advance. Follow the entire collection with one click, cherry pick the interesting items or create your own Scout collection.

Political Party Time – The only comprehensive database of political fundraisers continues to be an invaluable resource in these times of congressional gridlock. Keep tabs on the Party Time blog for great reporting on events, check the Party Time Twitter account for the latest news, view the calendar for upcoming events or watch our tireless additions to the database. Outlets utilizing this project recently include The Washington Post, Bloomberg, USA Today, the National Journal, The Hill, The Huffington Post and many many more.

Politwoops – As is the case with any politically charged event, our Politwoops project continues to chronicle the deleted tweets by politicians as they focus their optics. It ensures that nobody will miss out on the public messages broadcast and then later removed. Sift through the onslaught of regrets by searching for terms like “shutdown.”

Capitol Words – An easy way to visualize and analyze the most pressing issues in Congress through the words spoken by lawmakers on the House and Senate floor. In case anyone had any doubts, the top two words for the last couple days were “Obamacare” and “Shutdown.”

@SunFoundation – The Sunlight Foundation’s official twitter account is always a valuable source for updates, responses to questions and links to interesting content from others. We’re also using the hashtag #datadown to monitor the disappearance of official data.

This blog! – We continue to report on many aspects of the shutdown so just follow the tag “shutdown 2013” for in-depth coverage on everything from FEC filing to government services. We have a lot more coverage in the works!

As Tom mentioned earlier this week, many of our system rely on government data feeds and so stay tuned to @sunlightlabs or our API status page for outage updates.

Image via flickr user John Sonderman.