President Obama is working hard to talk directly to, and engage, the American people. Right now he is answering citizen questions posed to him in his first Online Town Hall. This is a great example of a “digital public square”. Citizens were invited to submit questions about the economy and vote on submissions from others (3.5 million voted).
What are your thoughts about this online meeting? What went well? What would you change?
Well, since no one has posted anything yet, I guess I’ll brave my first comment on this site… I was wondering what impression all of you got from the President’s use of the web to stream the Town Hall meeting? I watched it for a while, and monitored the comments about it on Twitter at the same time. My biggest impression from reading the tweets was that citizens were so enamoured of the President’s use of technology that they weren’t focussing on the content of his message. Is this a case of “ooh shiny!”, where the coolness of the forum detracts from the intent?
That will pass, Christina — by then (hopefully) enough people will find that kind of live media consumption commonplace.
I did notice the technology for technology’s sake mainly and was somewhat disappointed in that the technology did not seem to be Section 508 compliant or use open standards. It is great that the White House is trying to use technology to engage, but then it helps to use best practices.
I wrote up my analysis of the technology at my web site: http://www.validsites.org/news/somewhat-open-for-questions-some-constructive-criticism
Hopefully it will eventually be commonplace, Craig, I just fear that no one’s listening to the content. And that may have negative consequences.
Thanks for the link to your analysis, Daniel. I had no idea all those tools were available to test for 508 compliance. I need to get out more!
That’s what I call Transparent Government.