The Offices of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) are hosting the Congressional Facebook Developer Hackathon, the first event of its kind, on Dec. 7. It’s intended to explore the potential connections between legislative data, constituent correspondence and social media by bringing together a bipartisan group of members of Congress, Congressional staffers, Facebook developers and digital innovators.

Cantor stated, “As social media increasingly plays a central role in all areas of our everyday life, it is essential that Congress fully incorporate these platforms into its daily operations. Software developers, designers and program engineers have a unique opportunity to help us improve the legislative process resulting in more citizen engagement, and we are very excited about working together and getting started.”

The event will begin with updates on the new legislative data that the House has made available to the public, followed by updates on Facebook’s Open Graph Protocol. After that, participants will divide into four breakout discussion groups, each focusing on a separate area of the topic.

“Americans have a right to petition government, and new online technologies are giving that right exciting new possibilities, Hoyer said. “Members of Congress have a duty to embrace these technologies to make the legislative process as open and accessible as possible. We welcome the help and advice of industry leaders like Facebook, as well as individuals and academics who have innovative ideas on how to do so.”

Developers and others interested in the free event, which will be held in the Capitol Visitors Center in Washington D.C., can register here.

Related links:

Press release –

Registration –

Photo by Flickr user Fristle/Michael Myers, used under Creative Commons license