The 113th Congress: do they blog? They do, a little! And here we review their blogs. First up, gay former schoolteacher Mark Takano, of California's 41st district—that's Riverside County and San Bernardino County—who entered the House of Representatives in January of this year.
Who: Mark Takano (Rep-D, California) — There Will Be Charts
What: A mix of shout-outs, Vines from the Hill, and realpolitik disguised as the occasional flight of fey.
Design: 7.5/10. The buttons are big, the tags are big, and the header is kind of terrifying. Why are the letters in 3D? It’s like the page is shouting at me in a low, throaty whisper. I love the lines! I less-love but still really like the alternating black/gray/white, which feels Mod without also feeling needlessly ironic. Everything is so clean and hardly ridiculous, which is important when your blog includes GIFs of Bill Hader doing his best version of a strung-out member of the glitterati.
Community engagement: 3/10. Be kind, reblog. It’s the first rule of Tumblr, Mark. (Can I call you Mark? I do follow you on Tumblr.) The second rule is actually an appendage to the first: Have fun with your tags. "Republicans" and "House of Representatives" make your content searchable but it also makes it boring. Try flashier replacements like "zing" and "hashtag sigh."
Fun: 8.3/10. This blog seems so fun! But there are days-long lapses in activity, as if the Internet couldn’t go and find its wise-cracking politicians elsewhere.
Valley: "Submitting my first bill!" (It's a less-than-gripping Vine.)
Soundbite: "Welcome to Tumblr, Rep. Bachmann."
Adam Carlson writes things for money.