White House Opens Up For Questions About The Economy

from the but-what-about-answers? dept

I've been a bit critical for the Obama administration's lack of transparency and inclusion on certain issues -- or rather, their claims of being "transparent" and "inclusive" by simply asking their mailing list to "sell" the packages put together in backrooms. I was hoping for a much more participatory process whereby citizens actually could take part a bit earlier in the process. So, it's good to see a step in the right direction, as the White House has announced its Open For Questions initiatives (thanks to everyone who sent this in). The site lets people ask questions of the president, and lets people see and vote on each other's questions. The President will then answer a few of the "top" questions.

This is definitely a nice thing to add, but I'm hopeful that it ends up going further. At this point, it seems like nothing much more than a glorified suggestion/Q&A box. Rather than involving the community to tackle the questions raised, it simply gives them to the President to answer back. Real participation is about allowing the community to help out -- not just pass big questions up to the top. Obviously, it's still quite early in the administration, so hopefully we'll see more participatory tools on the way as well. This is definitely a good step -- and I don't mean to take away from it. But, I'm going to keep pushing for further participation and further transparency because I think it could be quite powerful and transformative.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold's former #5 fan, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 4:50pm

    Question 1 - When did "trillion" become the new "billion"?

    A trillion here, a trillion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money

     

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  2.  
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    Not Impressed, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 4:52pm

    More rhetoric...
    You have a better chance of getting struck by lightning than to have him answer your question.

    Unless you manage to hack into his teleprompter...

     

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  3.  
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    Weird Harold's former #5 fan, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 4:54pm

    Since he can't seem to do even a simple news conference without his trusty teleprompter, that would be an infamous hack indeed.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 4:57pm

    No matter how you cut the cheese, it is better than having Palin in there.

     

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  5.  
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    Matt, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 5:27pm

    sham

    I'll bet anything its a complete sham, mostly because there's no way to verify how many people "legitimately" wanted a question to be up top.

    I sadly wouldn't be surprised if we find a giant amount of sock puppeting going onto lower questions they don't want to talk about, etc.

     

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  6.  
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    Steve P., Mar 25th, 2009 @ 5:29pm

    Question 2

    Dear President,

    Is "The Obama Deception" Movie true?

    Sincerely,

    America

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Yakko Warner, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 5:34pm

    Operators are standing by

    If you have any ideas about how to fix the economy, just call. I'll be here all day. If we use your idea, you'll get ten million dollars. If two of you come up with the same idea, you'll get five million dollars each...

     

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  8.  
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    Art, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 5:44pm

    10 questions at a time

    This is as bad as that stupid google product, sorry I forget the name, that only lets you move through questions ten at a time. No go to first. No go to last. No go to page. Where's they find their developers.

     

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  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 8:00pm

    Re:

    Palin 2012. Get used to it foo...

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Manny, Mar 25th, 2009 @ 10:11pm

    the mewling of girly men

    Whine whine whine. He used a teleprompter for his opening statement! He's so arrogant he answers questions in complete paragraphs instead of in sound bites I can understand! He's priming the pump to avoid a depression after my heroic marketworshippers concocted a $50 trillion unregulated credit default swap market that brought the financial system to its knees! He won't answer my question about why he's stoopid! He's a socialist! He's not angry enough about the bonuses! He's too angry! His wife has big arms! Whine whine whine.

     

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  11.  
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    col, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 4:20am

    When this was tried in the UK

    the top questions were simply ignored if the incumbent didn't feel like addressing them. It'll be interesting to see if Pres-O actually has the courage of his convictions, or if he'll apply the Blair method and torpedo any questions he doesn't like the look of.

     

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  12.  
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    Don, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 5:25am

    Stop the bleeding

    I'm sorry but the wind-bags in Washington cant get us out of this mess. They have no common sense or street smarts.To stop the bleeding you apply pressure directly to the wound.The tax payers should get the bail-out not the banks or wall street. It's the tax payers money to begin with.Please return it so we can buy products and stimulate the economy. Respectfully, Don

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 6:58am

    Answering questions is not being inclusive. Inclusive is working with people on the solutions from the beginning, not answering the questions after the fact.

    This is an old tried and true consulting trick. It is nothing more than a moderated workshop, led by the consultant. You bring a bunch of people in a room and talk to them about the problem and then guide them to the solution that you have already came up with. When the process is done, the people in the room actually believe that they came up with the solution and have more buy in.

    It is actually a very good technique if you do it right. Of course, it is a sham, but it works.

     

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  14.  
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    Gene Cavanaugh, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 9:00am

    Transparency in government

    You really nailed this one, Mike! I agree completely. It is a step in the right direction, but still just a glorified Q/A, as you said.
    I started to participate, but when I realized there was no discussion involved, opted out.

     

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  15.  
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    Fung Ngo, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 9:02am

    Sock puppets?

    Really? The Hope n Change (or is that Rope n Chains) folks would stoop to that? I mean, really, it's not like they accepted illegal foreign donations on their campaign website or anything, is it?

     

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  16.  
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    Anyonymous Douchebag, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 10:21am

    Sure

    Yep, we certainly wouldn't want Palin around Washington. Why would we ever want an executive level politician who has actually had a balanced budget anywhere near that cesspool known as DC.

    How many trillions in debt will it take for you to wake up Coward?

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 2:38pm

    Pain 2012

    I look forward to the comedy

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Larry Dillon, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 2:49pm

    President Obama

    Mr. president,We voted for you and believe in your leadership 100% WE PRAY BOTH PARTIES DEM.&Rep. parties would get their priorities together and support you so this economy will turn to the point putting americans to work faster and projects viable to the most needed project to the mondaine means jobs. We are lucky my wife workd for Wal-Mart 16yrs. we have insurence and benifits allowing us to live in Alaska,and now here in Kailua Kona,Hawaii. Your leadership is driven to represent the people of America and you have accomplished a lot already and do not slow down sir. We need your leadership and pray for your safety and your families safety harm not to touch you in anyway. God Bless you Mr. president go forward undonted with an open mind yours tasks are monumentel but win able. I could not handle this task and would not wish this on anyone,God has you on this path and you must keep vigulent as Mr. Lincoln much is to be done and you remaine focused with telopromter and all at your means your heart is for us the American public we do apprediate how and why your goals are moving forward. Mr. King's I have a dream for all Gods children and you are it the dream,leader of compassion and love. God Bless You Mr. president and w/love Larry & Pam Dillon

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
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    Carlos R, Salvatori, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 2:55pm

    taxes

    President Obama said "any body making less than 50.000 dolars will not pay taxes"

     

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  20.  
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    anymouse, Mar 26th, 2009 @ 4:03pm

    Well, not so open anymore....

    "Submit a question - No longer accepting new questions at this time."

    I went to take a look and guess what, no longer accepting questions, guess they answered them all already. Time to go home, nothing to see here folks, move along.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    mary, Apr 4th, 2009 @ 6:45pm

    Why in the world would a President go to Europe and call the people of America arrogant? The only arrogant people in the United State is President Obama and Nancy. We were told by Nancy that the Dem. won and Rep. lost and we need to deal with it (what a arrogant remark).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    mary, Apr 4th, 2009 @ 6:45pm

    Why in the world would a President go to Europe and call the people of America arrogant? The only arrogant people in the United State is President Obama and Nancy. We were told by Nancy that the Dem. won and Rep. lost and we need to deal with it (what a arrogant remark).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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