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FCW Insider: How far should Obama take social networking?

Josh Bernoff, who writes for Forrester Research's Groundswell blog, is calling for President-elect Barack Obama to create an online forum in which the administration can solicit ideas and feedback from the public.


Obama has already demonstrated his social networking know-how, leveraging Facebook, MySpace and YouTube to energize his supporters and win the election, Bernoff writes.


The next logical step is to take advantage of that same "groundswell" to identify solutions to the problems that his administration will soon face.


He proposes that Obama create an online forum called my.america.gov and hire a "U.S. Community Manager" and a small staff to solicit input and moderate discussions.


"Forget polls," Bernoff writes. "With a few million people in my.america.gov, Obama will be able to tap into the world's largest focus group. Communities are cheap, compared to most of what the government does. Create a space for the brightest people you know; use them to attract the best ideas. And better yet, use this energized community to sell those ideas to America."


The Muncipalist, a blogger who focuses on government and Web 2.0, has his doubts about this proposed venture. Here is what he had to say:


"Analysis: The whole point of Municipalist is to document and encourage use of Web 2.0 tools and ideas by individuals and organizations in government. But would we really benefit from something on the scale of a 'U.S. Community Manager'? Sounds too much like the Ministry of Truth. Watch out if the goal of such an effort is solely to build a mass bully force, and to avoid compromise, as the Groundswell plan describes."


Read more from the Municipalist here.


One more note on Obama and Web 2.0: The Dorobek Insider reports that the president-elect's Twitter feed has gone silent.


 

Posted by John Stein Monroe on Nov 12, 2008 at 12:18 PM


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