Monthly Archives: February 2009

The new State Department jumps in fast with web 2.0

From Chris Lefkow in Washington | February 23, 2009,

BARACK Obama out-duelled Hillary Clinton on the web during their battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But Secretary of State Clinton is giving President Obama a run for the money in the latest web 2.0 sweepstakes.

The former first lady has taken to digital diplomacy with a vengeance, contributing to DipNote, the slick State Department blog, and soliciting questions from the public online, a feature called “Ask the Secretary.”

She also has her aides firing off updates — more than 1000 so far — on the @dipnote feed on micro-blogging service Twitter and posting photos on the State Department Flickr page at

In addition to longstanding websites and, there is an official State Department YouTube channel at and a State Department Facebook page which instead of friends has “fans.”

Ms Clinton is not just using the web for public diplomacy.

One of her first acts after taking office was to create an internal State Department website, “The Sounding Board,” to solicit feedback from department staff, who have the option of posting anonymously if they prefer.

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Filed under barak obama, government 2.0, Politics, transparency

Social Actions Round-Up #24: Government Enters Social Media for Social Change Movement

Originally posted by Peter Dietz and our friends at Social Actions on February 5, 2009.

As a child of the 80’s (okay, very late 70’s), I am used to government having very little (if any) involvement in technology driven initiatives (outside of the military), and certainly not technology for a purpose.

Enter the Obama Administration. Suddenly, there’s a Director of Citizen Participation and a Department of Social Innovation. Woah! This round-up just touches the surface: mentioning the appointment of a former Google executive to the Obama administration, highlighting the Utah senate’s use of social media, and drawing attention to the Republican party’s efforts to leverage crowdsourcing (Obama-style).

The effects of government ‘getting it’ are going to be huge. At Social Actions, we’ll be keeping an eye on how these stories develop.

Below is the Social Actions round-up covering the period January 21, 2009 to February 2, 2009.

News Roundup

Recent Discoveries

Social Actions News


Filed under government 2.0, news, updates, Social Innovation

San Diego Mayor to crowdsource public policy

The mayor of San Diego is seeking public input on new policies for the city, beginning with budget suggestions on how the city can address the current economic crises.   The Mayor’s website states that “each of your suggestions will be reviewed carefully by my staff. They may also be forwarded to department directors and members of our financial management team.”

In addition to just soliciting policy recommendations, some of the suggestions will be posted online for “the goal of sharing ideas and elevating our civic dialogue.”  While posting the submissions online is certainly a step in the right direction for transparency, will the mayor’s efforts produce results?

So far, policy suggestions include ending car allowances for elected officials, reducing the number of firefighters per truck, and  legalizing marijuana.    Another suggestion calls for the city to “stop enforcing the booze ban”:

Stop enforcing the booze ban

I have lived in Mission Beach for two years, and since the ban on alcohol went into effect last year, I have watched numerous policemen heckle beach-goers about what liquids are in their cups. It seems as if the amount of police patrol has actually increased since the ban began, which makes me wonder, “Why are you wasting so many tax payer dollars patrolling a beach, and hassling its patrons?” The policemen are on ATV’s, on bicycles, and standing on the boardwalk… there are so many, that you cannot turn a corner without seeing one. It is a blatant waste of money which the city claims to be necessary for the “good” of the people, I see it as superfluous and outright ridiculous. Send them to areas of San Diego which have real crime issues- not just a bunch of drunks in bikinis- or spend your money elsewhere.

While seeking policy suggestions from the city’s residents is laudable, the question remains whether the submissions will have any real influence on the city’s policy.  We will have to wait and see.

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Filed under crowdsourcing, government 2.0, transparency, Uncategorized

Policypitch January Roundup

January 2009 was an exciting month for!

New pitched ideas:

January Web Stats:

  • 1,063 unique visitors.
  • 2,261 visits.
  • Over 19,000 page views.

Other important info:

  • Two new team members joined Policypitch:   William Kelleher and Preston Emory.
  • 10 new blog posts.
  • Titter account launched!  Check us out
  • Site re-design underway!  New features include legislative tracking, real time statutory editing, collaborative tools, constituent management system, and more!   Please give us feeback on what you want!

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Filed under updates, Uncategorized, updates

crowdsourcing policy and the national agenda for conservatives:

While Obama’s followers now have the opportunity to influence policy using new, citizen-driven agendas at sites that aim to crowdsource policy and increase citizen participation in governance, conservatives now have the same opportunity with the launch of  Rebuildtheparty applies the crowdsourcing approach to government 2.0, allowing people to pitch and suggest ideas for the Republican party.   The top two leading voter ideas are  “Enacting the Fair Tax Plan” and  “Reach out to Ron Paul and the Campaign for Freedom.”  The site is a network of grassroots activists for the Republic party, and it already has 6 Republican party officials who have endorsed their 10 point action plan to strengthen the republican party (including: Saul Anuzis, Michigan GOP Chairman; Ken Blackwell,Former Ohio Secretary of State; Mike Duncan,Current RNC Chairman;Chip Saltsman, Former TN GOP Chairman; and Michael Steele, GOPAC Chairman).

Check it out at:

Image courtesy of


Filed under crowdsourcing, government 2.0, Politics