Washington Post Launches in Beta

The Washington Post has announced, a collection of profiles of political officials. The full URL is, and the two things to bear in mind here are: “more features to come” and “not complete.”

From the front page you can view the most recently added profiles as well as the most popular ones (President Obama is number one, is anyone surprised?) and browse by representation or office held. (And that’s where the “not complete” comes in: you can browse for House Republicans, but they’re not all listed. Washington Post plans to expand the number of profiles over time.)

You can also do a keyword search, so I searched for Rod Blagojevich. I spelled it wrong but I still got 21 results, of which himself was first. The profiles page for the governor contains information under several headers, including “Why He Matters”, “The Issues”, and “The Network”. I wanted to see how recent the data was as Governor Blagojevich did have a press conference yesterday. Mention of the press conference was indeed there, including a quote. If you’re wondering where all the information comes from, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you will find a huge list of footnotes: 35 in the case of this entry.

Governor Blagojevich’s page has some extra sections to the right. There’s a “key associates” section which links to Senator Roland Burris’ page. Other sidebars on include a link list, news, and a list of page revisions.

Profile information is not the only thing available on There’s also a blog, The Plum Line, that takes a look at pressing political news of the day. (There’s also a blog for the site itself.) I can’t find a distinct page for it but the front page of the site also has political headlines.

There are additional plans for the site over time. Eventually it will expand into a moderated wiki (see the site’s blog for information on how to suggest changes or expansions to the site right now.) When it becomes wikified, readers will be invited to submit additions and revisions to profiles, as well as new profiles which will be reviewed by the site’s editorial team. did not make the common new site mistake of launching with a minimum of content — there’s a lot to see here. But I’m looking forward to seeing all the Members of Congress added, as well as the ability of readers to add more profiles — hopefully more local politicians!

Categories: News

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