Saturday, December 06, 2008

Sitting at Obama's Table

John D. Podesta, the Co-chair of the Obama-Biden Transition Project, made the announcement Friday, December 5th, that the transition team are making all policy documents available for review and discussion on the Change.gov website. These documents and policy recommendations are from outside organizations as well as from official meetings with outside organizations.
This means we're inviting the American public to take a seat at the table and engage in a dialogue about these important issues and ideas -- at the same time members of our team review these documents themselves.



The transition team is trying very hard to embed transparency within the Obama-Biden framework of government. By reaching out to the public, asking for their input, and promoting an open door policy...they have reinvented the wheel of politics.

All of the documents are posted at the Your Seat at The Table section of their website. The documents are available for view or download in PDF format, and each has it's own open discussion thread for the people to share their thoughts on each issue.

I would like to share some thoughts on some of the problems I have discovered and what has worked best for me so far to alleviate some of those problems and make the discussions more manageable. First, although Change.gov offers Open ID, I found that it's best to sign up with the commenting plug-in system Intense Debate that is also offered on the discussion pages. Once signed up with Intense Debate, each of your posts and the thread where the comment was made will remain on your user page for future reference. Plus the user interface gives you the option of following other contributor's posts and an RSS feed is available for each user's page.

For myself, I've found it imperative to subscribe to each thread via it's RSS feed. I can monitor the discussion as it changes and chime in if I feel the need to ask questions or posibly even answer a few. I personally would love to have a wiki set up for each of these policy issues. I believe it would be much more manageable and the people could actually build their own document by taking the best points of the proposed documents along with the best ideas from the people. Don't get me wrong...I'm not whining! I think the current system could be improved, but I'm sure thankful we have this opportunity. I have always desired an open door policy to government, but now I seem to have a loss for words. Now that this door of open government has been unlocked...it somehow seems so surreal. Pinch me!

1Comments:

Anonymous Kimi said...

Nice "meeting you" over at change.gov. From reading your post, I now understand why some people are complaining about the threading. I knew there was something different about what they were seeing on their screens.

I'm looking forward to reading more of posts here. You are a talented and thoughtful writer.

Sunday, 07 December, 2008  

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