Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New OSTP Blog Breaks New Ground

The systems for participating in government have been long established and formalized. They often make joint discussion hard. For example, the traditional approach is for an agency to issue a Request for Comment. Then, people have a certain number of weeks to post comments, but can't comment on each others' work real-time. And then, there's a time for reply comments. Sometimes, it's often hard to find the comments to reply to, at least for me, since I'm not a DC insider.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy is trying something cool and new: they've set up new OSTP Blog for commenting on an important issue that President Obama wants feedback on: the question of maintaining scientific integrity. And, you can comment on comments, and rate comments (similar to slashdot). It's taking advantage of technology to make a more powerful discussion that I hope will be more productive and informative compared to the old, asynchronous comment mechanism. I'm sure it will be more engaging than the traditional process, while honoring the government's need for transparency.

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