Thursday, March 26, 2009

Mr. President, the community has some questions

The Obama Administration is furthering what I think is quickly evolving into the first Social Media Presidency. I wondered what we could expect from the Administration back in November as in if we would start seeing something unprecedented from our country's leadership.

So far I've been pleasantly surprised at the amount of new levels of government access and openness through things like the Blog, Presidential addresses via video, and the recently announced, new feature called "Open for Questions."

According the announcement post,
"'Open for Questions' is a new experiment for, the President’s latest effort to open up the White House and give Americans from around the country a direct line to the Administration."

They are inviting people to participate to participate in the community-moderated online town hall by submitting question as well as voting on submissions from others.

It's important to note is that this new "Open for Questions" feature is referred to as an "experiment" three times (twice in the text and once in Obama's video). I'm curious as to whether or not they followed the scientific method and developed some hypothesis for this new offering.

It will be interesting to observe the outcome of this and no doubt other experiments designed for listening. So far, the initial social media integration still has the potential to work since it comes across as being a genuine interest in the thoughts of the people. I like what commenter Jessica wrote on a post by Doug Haslam earlier this month:
"The real question is: Is Obama ready to change the way the people interact with the government (with or without new media)? If the answer is yes, then the new media stuff will come in time."
I would say "Open for Questions" is a new way to interact with your government. What do you think?

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