Thursday, November 13, 2008

What can make this blog stand out?

Despite my best attempt to be one of the first blogs to cover the emerging Obama tech administration, I realize that there are some established websites doing a great job already. I especially recommend TechPresident and the Sunlight Foundation's blog for two different angles.

So what can I do to stand out? In the spirit of openness and participation, I want to hear from my readers (there might not be many of you, but I know there are at least a few).

Here are some aspects that I will try to focus on in my posts. Please let me know which of these sound most interesting to you, and please suggest any other angles you would like to see covered:
  • Motivating the population to get involved. You can have the best infrastructure in the world, but governing is not as sexy as winning a campaign, so what will the Obama team do to convince people to get involved? I plan to share interviews with people of all different levels of political involvement, exploring what might motivate them to play a bigger role.
  • Developing some thoughts about what sort of culture change will accompany the technological innovations to make government more open. How do people view their ability to influence and understand the government now, and what would it look like in an ideal future state? What tools and programs can get us there?
  • Social engineering problems and challenges that arise when you attempt to involve the entire population of the US in governing. For example: how do you tap into a diverse group, how do you get views from both sides without spiraling into partisan bickering, how do you gauge the public's view when online polls are so ineffective, etc.
  • Exploring some theory behind the ideas of transparency and openness. There has been list after list of specific suggestions about how to run a transparent administration, but it might interesting to delve into the underlying ideas - what does it really mean to be more open?
  • Obama's change campaign as a change management program. Companies have been launching (and mostly failing at) transformation efforts for decades. How is Obama's "change" program similar, and how is it different? What can we learn from looking at corporate transformation efforts?
  • The pure technology and design considerations. I will highlight emerging technological trends in non-political areas and start a discussion on how these innovations can be used to make government more open.
Please leave comments, I'm eager to hear your thoughts!


meng_mao said...

Sam, as a long-time reader, I've always wanted to ask --
how can I make a suggestion to Obama's administration?

I have this really good idea for a security advisory nominee who could help improve our security and get rid of ineffective TSA procedures.

But I don't know how hard I would need to work, or even where to grassroots this thing, to get my idea to be heard.

meng_mao said...

Also, I noticed you leave comments off your main view. Is that intentional? I wouldn't mention it were it not for the kinds of issues that you're tackling here.

meng_mao said...

dude, comment back.