I propose that all Gov 2.0 people consider the following pilot program:
Imagine an online community of all registered U.S. voters. The community would be distributed across county clerk offices. There are about 150 million registered voters, and about 3,100 U.S. counties.
Such a national community can be easily piloted: Establish pilot communities in six selected counties today. Operate those communities for two years. They sink or swim. Either outcome provides valuable data.
Six county-based communities can be launched, staffed and operated for two years for less than $4 million. They will attract considerable media attention, as well as attention from leading technologists and cultural innovators. They will produce their own leaders and their own agendas. They will go in whatever direction they go. Six county-based versions of communities just like this one, pointing the way to a new model of online participatory government.
If the pilot is successful–if the communities demonstrate the ability to effect change in the real world–the program can be rolled out nationally in 2012. If the pilot fails, we’ll have learned a valuable lesson about our readiness for modern self-government.
You’re the Gov 2.0 community. What say ye?