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[liberationtech] New White House Chief Digital Officer has a question for you ... #socialcivics

Steven Clift clift at
Wed Mar 25 11:40:52 PDT 2015

Check out this post by Jason Goldman

Starting April 6th, his new job in the White House will be "to help
create more meaningful online engagement between government and
American citizens."

The core question from Jason:

      Here’s what I would love. I would love for you to answer this
question: How can we — our government and you and your communities —
better connect online to make America better?

Reply via the 3200 member Open Gov and Civic Tech Facebook Group here:

Or answer with #socialcivics across the Internet.

Clift Note: One key nuance - Jason is as I call it "going to the
parade" (something I described with online campaigning in 2008 - - BUT in governance not just
elections. While the White House certainly has a Facebook page,
starting a distributed conversation via a hashtag from the White House
(soon anyway) is quite notable.

And to Jason, I have three quick answers on how we can connect
governments, we the people, and our communities ONLINE to make our
country better:

1. Elect a new generation of representatives who engage their everyday
constituents two-way online after the election is over. Note:

Perhaps the White House could challenge Governors to be involved in
some kind of meta online engagement effort. Think legacy impact that
won't just disappear with the next administration.

2. Go "local up" with communities online everywhere where government
and civil servants are not banned like they are with resident-only
"gated community" models online. Our results with PUBLIC spaces
online:  ... if we want mass national
engagement, we need places online where the right and left who live in
the same neighborhood can connect across ideology in the common

3. Online special events (AKA e-consultation, online consultation) can
work online - While government can "go to the parade," the more
thought governments put into time-based online input gathering with
specialized tools, the better government can sort through the input.

And feel free to read my older stuff, which unfortunately is mostly
filled with ideas that need audacious leaders in government to make

Join the parade here by the way:

Steven Clift  -  Executive Director, E-Democracy

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