Tag Archives: web 2.0

The new State Department jumps in fast with web 2.0

From Chris Lefkow in Washington | February 23, 2009, Australianit.com

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 flickr.com/photos/statephotos/.

In addition to longstanding websites State.gov and America.gov, there is an official State Department YouTube channel at youtube.com/statevideo 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

Web 2.0 has to have a purpose, says Al Gore

Al Gore spoke at the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco on November 7, 2008.  He emphasized the necessity of the purpose driven web and the future of civic participation in shaping our nation’s policies.  Among other things, Gore discussed the internet’s “cloud” where information is stored, stating, “we have to have the truth — the inconvenient truth, forgive me — stored in the cloud so that people don’t have to rely on that process, and so we can respond to it collectively.”

More coverage from the New York Times:

Forget about swapping party pictures on Facebook and other “gee-whiz stuff,” says former Vice President Al Gore. “Web 2.0 has to have a purpose.”

And since it’s Al Gore, you know that purpose has got to be green.

“The purpose, I would urge all of you — as many of you as are willing to take it up — is to bring about a higher level of consciousness about our planet and the imminent danger and opportunity we face because of the radical transformation in the relationship between human beings and the Earth,” Mr. Gore said Friday evening at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.

In other words, Web 2.0 should be used to fight global warming. He didn’t say exactly how, but that didn’t stop the audience from giving two standing ovations to the Oscar-winning movie director, venture capitalist, money manager, book author, cable television mogul and Nobel laureate.

Mr. Gore said that he feared that his advocacy work, spearheaded by his documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth,” has not done its job. “I feel, in a sense, I’ve failed badly,” he said. “Because even though there’s a greater sense of awareness, there is not anything anywhere close to an appropriate sense of urgency. This is an existential threat.”

Mr. Gore called on President-elect Barack Obama to set a national goal of getting 100 percent of America’s electricity from renewable and non-carbon sources within a decade.

John F. Kennedy’s declaration that the nation would land a man on the moon in 10 years was thought to be impossible, but was achieved eight years later. The engineers who made it possible were an average age of 18 when President Kennedy issued the challenge, Mr. Gore said. “We need exactly that all over this country,” dedicated to reversing climate change, he said.

Mr. Obama has pledged to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years in clean energy. That is not enough, Mr. Gore said.

The nation needs to build “an electronet,” a unified national smart grid, with high-voltage, low-loss underground wires that deliver renewable energy from the places that produce it — like the sunny Arizona deserts or the windy Dakota plains — to the cities where the majority of it is used. Such a grid would require a $400 billion investment upfront, but would pay off in just over three years, he said, because the nation spends $120 billion annually on costs from power failures attributed to the existing grid.

In addition, the United States needs a national retrofit program to insulate homes and install new windows and light bulbs. Forty percent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere comes from buildings, he said. Making these changes would not only save homeowners money but create 10 million new jobs, he said.

The Internet — specifically, the “cloud” where information is stored — also has a role to play, Mr. Gore said. “We have to have the truth — the inconvenient truth, forgive me — stored in the cloud so that people don’t have to rely on that process, and so we can respond to it collectively.”

(Photo Credit: Eric Risberg/AP)


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Filed under government 2.0, Social Innovation, Uncategorized

Crowdsourcing civic engagement and local policy change

Just as crowdsourcing has been applied to the media, sports, and even real estate, Policypitch brings crowdsourcing to civic engagement and local policy change.  Whether its crowdfunding donations for a cause or collecting petitions for a political recall, the tools we provide are designed to help our members gather resources to take action.

Examples of other successful crowdsourcing efforts:

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