Congress combines cloud computing, social networking with '3121'

A new Web 2.0 venture by the National Journal Group aims to bring the 21st century to congressional staffers in Washington, D.C.

A new Web 2.0 venture by the National Journal Group aims to bring the 21st century to congressional staffers in Washington, D.C.

The site, 3121, was created after staffers who couldn't answer the "who-does-whats" demanded a digital directory of people on Capitol Hill.

(The current system is a series of printed books called “Leadership Directories” that can barely keep up with staff turnover.)

The site is not unlike the original Facebook in that it's a social network -- albeit with strong, LinkedIn-like professional overtures -- that's used as a directory of people in a selected group.

In 3121's case, D.C.-based congressional staffers replace Facebook's original elite-colleges-only crowd.

It's an example of the Hill outsourcing a necessary function to an outside media company to make productivity happen.

See pictures and read all about it on SmartPlanet.