Technology

Washington is listening to people, for real

OK, in Washington the White House has this Open Government directive, telling everyone that they gotta get serious about customer service, which includes really listening to Americans about running things better.

Yes, it's like getting an elephant to tap-dance, but harder. However, they're serious, and Washington is full of people who are passionately committed to this.

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Gov't website transparency increases trust in government

If you show more about what you're doing, people trust you more. Maybe that's obvious, but now we have some results along those lines for federal sites.

The deal is that we now have an administration that wants to show you what's going on, like where the money goes, reversing the prior policy of hiding all that.

Check out Study links online transparency efforts, trust in government:

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Fixing Washington now — in progress


Chart This chart shows how much everyday people are working with federal agencies in ways that have never happened before.

The deal is that the Open Government Directive, coming right from the very top, gets federal agencies to listen to and work with everyone, all citizens who want to stand up.

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Gov't gets more done to listen to citizens

Some major developments in American democracy are happening, right now, not generally reported by the mainstream press.

In particular, we have a federal government that's getting more and more open about the way it does business, and getting real serious about regular citizens influencing policy in real ways.

This means transparency, like showing where the money goes, and it means platforms where people can work together to tell the gov't what's going on out here.

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A next big step for grassroots democracy

We need a government that listens to us, and online discussion boards make that doable, at least for people who can get online. (We'll need other solutions for everyone else.)

Problem with conventional discussion boards is that it's hard to find the good stuff, and it's also very easy for a bad guy to disrupt the discussion, maybe to fake a consensus. We're hoping that can be solved with discussion boards which allow people to vote up the good stuff. That works if you have a lot of people getting involved.

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FCC launches Reboot site for your feedback

The deal is that we now have an administration that is serious about listening to Americans and to getting the job done. You've seen my previous blogging on the Department of Veterans Affairs restarting to really help veterans.

Now the FCC is asking for your help, soliciting your take on the future of communications, which is really critical in a democracy.

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