Obama's YouTube speech raises the question: is there an efficient way to listen to America?
by Josh Bernoff
Obama's march forward with social technology continues. Since we've never had a President-elect go so far with social technology before, there are no standards. So it's hard to know how to react.
. . . but it has no author. And of course, no comments.
The weekly "radio address" is on YouTube (and on the change.gov blog) and has over 300,000 views on its first day . . .
. . . but of course it has comments disabled, as well.
As we suggested, some of the "vision" ideas people have suggested are now visible on change.gov . . .
. . . but the other 99% are hidden.
We're pleased to see that Brian Solis at TechCrunch extending our idea of moving the President into the social world where he can hear from the people (he calls for Obama to become a "Two-way President").
This isn't at the top of Obama's list of priorities. Fixing the economy is. But you just have to wonder what it could do for a government that is supposed to be of the people, by the people, for the people, to actually listen to the people.
The problem is a scale problem. How do you deal with 10,000 suggestions? How do you learn from them? How do you manage them?
Step one: Hire a community manager of the United States. Jake McKee has already applied for the job.
Step two: Develop ways for the community to mostly manage itself, as Wikipedia does. Luckily, there are no shortage of social media experts ready to set that up. As all communities scale up, these problems solve themselves. But in this case, given the speed with which the community will grow and the contentiousness of politics, it will be a little trickier. (Jake, are you sure you want this job?)
Step three: Find ways to derive real insight from all the commentary. And here, we have solutions. Brand monitoring companies like Cymfony, MotiveQuest (which called the election), and Umbria should be doing this now and vying to offer their solutions to the Obama administration. Networked Insights mines ideas from community commentary -- this opportunity is ready made for them.
We'd also like to see some communities from Communispace or Passenger set up for a more civil, more responsive way to gather intelligence. Give me 500 moms, 500 small business people, 500 republicans, and 500 millenials. When you need to know which way the world is going, ask 'em. Cheaper and better than polls.
The only part I worry about is this: is the social technology vendor community ready to become government contractors? Save a little staff for your corporate clients, ok?
To end this, just because I can, I'm going to put the president-elect's speech right here. Next I'm looking forward to the Obama Widget.