House Dems outline new media contest

House Democrats outlined their upcoming social media competition on Wednesday, saying they admired a previous contest held by House Republicans. 

The Democrats' "Member Online All-Star Competition" will begin on June 7 and last for two weeks. The aim is for members to gain as many new Facebook fans, Twitter followers and YouTube subscribers as possible. 

The top 50 participants will be acknowledged as "All-Stars" and the number one finisher will be crowned the "MVP."

"It's very obvious that social media is an ever important way for members to get out there and interact with their constituents," Maureen Beach, a spokeswoman for Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), said in an interview. 

The contest comes on the heels of a similar event held by Republicans called the "New Media Challenge."

House Democrats have some ground to make up in order to catch up with their GOP colleagues. 

According to the GOP, 79 percent of their conference is already on Facebook, 89 percent of them are currently using YouTube and 64 percent have taken to Twitter.

A recently published Mother Jones article says "only 34 percent of Democratic House members were on Facebook and only 20 percent had hit Twitter."

Beach says that the GOP's contest was a good model for Democrats. 

"The Republicans had a good idea when they had their contest," she said. "It's a fun way to get members participating."

The Republicans' "New Media Challenge," which started in April, lasted six weeks and was modeled as an elimination tournament among lawmakers.