Obama Administration Takes Another Step Toward More Intelligent Government

January 29 2009 / by Alvis Brigis
Category: Social Media   Year: 2009   Rating: 1

kstanton.jpgI almost can't believe this is happening.

According to Peter Kafka over at All Things D, The Obama administration has taken yet another intelligent step toward web-mediated government by hiring Googler Katie Stanton as, get this, "Director of Citizen Participation".

The move to bring in a social media expert (tempered by a finance nd foreign relations background) signals growing awareness of crowd-sourcing as an effective means of value generation.  With a mind like Stanton's in the mix, we can safely assume the President is looking to 1) continue exploring the various (and exploding) social media tools available on the market, and 2) to build out a comprehensive social media apparatus that will maximize its efforts in this arena. 

Just imagine what WhiteHouse.gov will look like in a few years...

I guess all it takes is a global economic depression and record-setting grass-roots Presidential campaign to restore intelligence to Washington.

According to Kafka's source Stanton is due to start her important work at the White House in March.

Comment Thread (8 Responses)

  1. I would add that it’s his policy of engagement at work using the cutting edge tools of the day. With a difficult economic road ahead filled with job loss and dislocation, this administration seems intent not only on listening to the public but asking them to chip in. “Ask not what your country can do for you…”

    Posted by: Jeff Hilford   January 29, 2009
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  2. Absolutely agree. This will be a great way to allow millions of Americans (and non-Americans) to contribute value at greatly reduced cost.

    I’m also psyched about the potential for quantification. Stanton is known for dramatically improving Google Finance by making it a more comprehensive corporate quantifier. Check out her take on the process.

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   January 29, 2009
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  3. “awareness of crowd-sourcing as an effective means of value generation” – You sir are a master of buzzword mumbo jumbo. I bow to you.

    But seriously, penis enlargement pill marketers were doing it for years. So, now president too will be using spam trying to influence you.

    Posted by: johnfrink   January 29, 2009
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  4. I just hope it gives the public something we badly need, clarity on what the heck is going on. So far the White House Press Secretary has been something short of transparent. Maybe technology can usher in a new era of accountability and see-throughness for government.

    Posted by: TonyManfredi   January 30, 2009
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  5. Not that I actually enjoy being a wet blanket you understand, and further keeping in mind that any sensible definition of a politician ought to include: “someone who thinks the proper place for his hand is in your pocket”, la Stanton may be the best IT tool sharpener extant, but there is still going to be a politician’s hand on the newly razored edge you know.

    Responding to TonyManfredi’s point about transparency – nothing personal Sir, I picked on Alvis in another post -, the possibility also exists that such efforts may also serve to create the illusion of contribution and transparency while actually providing a source of apparent justification for predetermined decisions. Ponder the ethical considerations of the partial definition suggested above. Whatever else might also apply, the President of the United States is a masterful politician by necessity.

    Posted by: Will   January 30, 2009
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  6. Not to sound like a wet blanket, too, but I don’t trust politicians, no matter how friendly they are. I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Posted by: Covus   January 30, 2009
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  7. @ frink – I actually believe in those words. Digg + Twitter + Facebook + Blogs + Wiki + White House + Intelligent Strategy = ???

    @ Manfredi – I too am optimistic that the new administration’s commitment to quickly available, machine-readable transcripts of cabinet meetings and other business will help push forward transparency in a big way. It helps branding too, but more real-time web chatter about policy will empower the 5th estate!

    @ Will – I should have also added that this decision also helps to establish the President’s tech brand on sites like this, and that they are hoping that this will happen. THing is, if they don’t deliver, many techies (like myself) will really hate them for it.

    @ Covus – Despite my optimism I still withhold all of my trust. But I do like many of the moves I’m seeing. (But am a bit frightened of the massive Stimulus Package #2.) We shall see.

    Posted by: Alvis Brigis   January 30, 2009
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  8. If all kinds of possible solutions to an OpenGov system, what I would like to see is a set of integrated systems that would combine social networks for society input, auction-bid for public administration contracts, mobile/telcos stimullus for engagement of the society by rewards on mobile/telcos credits, for a fully automated agenda of management and meeting society needs as a complete system where individual or coorporation’s interests are less important that society needs.

    Posted by: mitsuto   February 13, 2009
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