Obama's Web 2.0 experiment draws 92,000 users
Web 2.0 governing: Citizens get a chance to pose questions to President Obama
Computerworld - Two days after members of the White House press corps asked President Barack Obama questions about the state of the union, more than 90,000 citizens from across the country had the chance to do the same thing today.
In an online town hall meeting that started late this morning and wrapped up just before 1 p.m. Eastern, Obama took questions from an audience in the White House and from online participants who had posed questions on the WhiteHouse.gov Web site.
White House officials said the Web site's Open for Questions portal, launched earlier this week, attracted some 92,928 users who submitted 104,111 questions and cast 3,606,658 votes for queries they wanted answered.
"Given the size of the electorate, that's not a huge number, but since it's the first time they've done this, you have to judge it in that context," said Dan Olds, principal analyst at Gabriel Consulting Group Inc. "It's a step in the right direction to getting more people engaged in the process."
Olds also said that using Web 2.0 tools is a way for a new generation of political leaders to reach out to an increasingly connected and technically savvy audience.
"Right now, we have a crisis in confidence in this country," he added. "How you fix that, as a leader, is through communication. Sure, you could do that on TV and radio but look at all the people using Web 2.0. You have to use every medium you can and there's a big audience out there online."
In his opening remarks in today's town hall meeting, Obama called this new online effort an "experiment." The first question that he took was one of the most popular submitted by the online audience. "How do you plan to restore education as a right and core cultural value in America?" asked a participant from Boston. The president said the country needs to focus on investing in teachers, improving science curricula and reforming education policies.
During his campaign for president, Obama seemingly showed other politicians what it means to harness the power of the Web. The then-senator went beyond the somewhat static Web pages of most past campaigns and tapped the power of Web 2.0 tools, including Facebook, YouTube, blogs and discussion boards, to create a conversation with potential voters.
And on inauguration day, a major overhaul of WhiteHouse.gov was launched as the president was being sworn in. At noon that day, the president's official Web site appeared online with a new design that focused not just on the new administration but on new media. For example, it has a feature called "The Briefing Room," where users can go to read the latest White House blog posts and even sign up for e-mail news updates.
Tech watch: Obama administration
- New federal CIO Vivek Kundra wants a Web 2.0 government
- White House changes course, appoints its first federal CIO
- Obama's plans for health care IT: Too much money too soon?
- Obama taps Bush aide to review federal cybersecurity efforts
- Obama lauds Intel plan to invest $7B in chip plants
- Obama plan says cyber infrastructure is 'strategic'
- Is Obama's handheld really a BlackBerry, or something else?
Read more about Government IT in Computerworld's Government IT Topic Center.
This pilot fish is a contractor at a military base, working on some very cool fire-control systems for tanks. But when he spots something obviously wrong during a live-fire test, he can't get the firing-range commander's attention.
- IT Certification Study Tips
- Register for this Computerworld Insider Study Tip guide and gain access to hundreds of premium content articles, cheat sheets, product reviews and more.
- Reduce federal infrastructure risk with compliance management and situational awareness
- IBM continuous monitoring and management solutions deliver real-time situational awareness to help federal agencies understand vulnerabilities, and protect the infrastructure.
- SANS: Next-Generation Datacenters = Next-Generation Security
- This whitepaper takes a look at some new technology that may allow security teams to implement more flexible and capable protection models in...
- SANS: Protecting Virtual Endpoints with McAfee Server Security Suite Essentials
- SANS review of McAfees Server Security Suite Essentials that address some of the emerging challenges of securing virtual platforms and cloud environments.
- Safeguarding the Next-Generation Data Center
- Use of virtual and cloud servers has exploded. Unfortunately, security often lags behind. McAfee recommends looking at innovative solutions in order to erect...
- Aberdeen: Securing the Evolving Datacenter
- This report highlights ways security technologies and services are evolving to provide the visibility and control needed to deploy workloads flexibly in the... All Government IT White Papers
- Is SQL Server AlwaysOn really as powerful? Tips and Tricks from the field With the introduction of AlwaysOn, Windows Clustering Services is now more critical than ever.
- What Does it Take to Deliver a Superior Customer Experience? The Two Top-Rated Online Retailers, B&H Photo and Crutchfield Electronics, Share Their Secrets Discuss practical CX tools and service methods such as contact center agents and the use of realtime speech analytics to help contact center...
- Keep Servers Up and Running and Attackers in the Dark An SSL/TLS handshake requires at least 10 times more processing power on a server than on the client. SSL renegotiation attacks can readily...
- On Demand: Mastering the Art of Mobile Content Management Mobile device usage in the enterprise has skyrocketed, and it continues to escalate. IT must answer to users who demand access to their...
- DevOps with PureApplication System: Reduce cost and speed delivery with an integrated IBM Cloud solution Join this webcast to hear what ING Netherlands has been able to achieve while deploying DevOps tools from IBM Rational. An ING executive...
- All Government IT Webcasts