Now that the election's finally over, all the energy that was poured into making social media for the campaigns is being redirected to citizen-driven agenda setting. Here are just a few current projects; expect this trend to escalate:
The White House 2:
Jim Gilliam of Brave New Films has struck out on his own to develop a site that allows citizens to "set the nation's priorities." Any U.S.citizen can join the site, suggest directions for the new administration, and endorse those submitted by others. Today's top priority is "Invest in clean energy and create 5 million new green jobs."
ObamaCTO: A similar site, Obama CTO, created by civic software company Front Seat, asks what the priories of Obama's chief technology officer should be. Today's top recommendation: "Ensure the Internet is widely accessible & network neutral." Can't argue with that one!
Change.gov: The new administration has set up its own online suggestion collector, albeit one that's less transparent. At the Change.gov site, which ticks off the days until the inauguration and lays out Obama's agenda, users are invited to "share your story" and "share your vision." So far the site hasn't featured any of these submissions, but expect at least one to pop up at a press conference. Over at Slate, Farhad Manjoo wonders how the real White House site might be rejiggered to function as a "Facebook for citizens." He notes skeptically that while the Web is good at uniting the like-minded, it has been less successful at bridging social divisions.
Rebuildtheeparty.com: Certainly not every American will be interested in "friending" Obama online. Over at Rebuild the Party, Republicans are crowdsourcing their own agenda. Tech-savvy libertarians seem to be leading the charge—the top item today is "Reach out to Ron Paul and the Campaign for Freedom."
Open, interactive platforms like these are making it easier and easier to develop dynamic public media—media projects that are aimed at addressing a shared issue, and are actively shaped through user contributions. We'll be watching.