The Apparatus of CongressEdits
Sometimes you write a piece of software and it gets used for purposes you didn't quite imagine at the time. Sometimes you write a piece of software and it unexpectedly rearranges your life. I'd like to tell you a quick story about [a Twitter bot named @CongressEdits][congressedits]. It tweets when someone edits Wikipedia anonymously from the United States Congress. In this post I'll give you some background on how the bot came to be, what it has been used for so far, and how it works. @CongressEdits taught me how the world of archives intersects with the world of politics and journalism. To explain how that happened, I first need to give a bit of background.
According to [Alexa][alexa], [wikipedia.org][wikipedia] is the sixth most popular destination on the Web. Wikipedia is, of course, the encyclopedia anyone can edit, so long as you can stomach [wikitext][wikitext] and revert wars. Wikipedia is also a platform for [citizen journalism][citizen_journalism], w