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Established in 2009 White House Social Media Stats: +1 million Facebook Fans +2 million Twitter Followers +3,500 Flickr Photos +140,000 MySpace Friends +150,000 YouTube Subscribers +3,500 Vimeo Subscribers
Upon entering the White House, the Obama Administration launched the Open Government Initiative
This initiative has welcomed a new era of openness in government than we have ever seen in practice through the use of new innovative techniques and the use of social media outlets.
OGI is based on three core values that government should encourage and promote: 1. trans·par·en·cy promoting accountability so citizens are aware of what their Government is doing. E.g. Recovery.gov (tracking stimulus money), SF 278 Request Form (personnel financial disclosure document). RECOVERY.GOV Track the Money
Transparency Con’t Data.gov is where government agencies get to share information with the public. What you can find: Performance of flights Economic, healthcare, environmental and other information accessible in electronic form.
Three Core Values: 2. par·tic·i·pa·tion public engagement increases Government’s efficiency. Citizens should be a part of policy-making. E.g. working to launch a “government-wide software tool and process to elicit expert public participation” called “ExpertNet.”
Participation Con’t The WH Office of New Media took lead on Open Question – an initiative that welcomed suggestions and ideas from you and me on how we could get the economy back on track.
White House Open Government Initiative –Innovation Assessment Relative Advantage Compatibility Complexity Triability Observability
Relative Advantage Before the current administration, you were not able to access information online through various tools --such as government created websites and social media tools -- solely as transparency outlets. Open Gov. Initiative is better than its predecessor because it embraces changes in technology to better serve not just Americans, but the international community as well. It also encourages greater participation from the public in policy development.
Compatibility After the economy crashed, there was a need for government officials and big companies to be held accountable for their actions. Before this, America has a track record of using up-to-date tools (telegrams, radio, TV) to keep the public abreast of current events and policies. For future presidents this initiative sets a great standard and example. They will have the tools and ability to create and even more open and transparent government.
Complexity Considering that this initiative was the first of its kind. I would say the complexity is a bit difficult. For President Lincoln this may be extremely difficult, but for whoever the future president may be, it may be difficult to maintain the standard but once they have adapted, the complexity may become easier to adopt.
Triability Is it good in theory but bad in practice? Prior to OGI, the president used an array of digital tools in his campaign. Seeing the effect of this and after assessing the needs of the people, he made the decision promote the use of social media tools and technology to enhance the way government operates and involves the people.
Observability The purpose of this initiative was to create a more open and transparent government. I believe Observability is the strongest quality of the Open Government Initiative.
Things I Noticed In My Research Based on a survey recently conducted by the White House: “50% of Facebook survey respondents were over the age of 50, with another 35% between 35 and 49. Our Twitter audience is younger, with only 32% of respondents over the age of 50. A combined 62% are over the age of 35. ”
Questions to think about: What about the teens, and 18 -25 year-olds – those under 35? What percent of this age group is actively engaging with the WH through social media outlets? What is the main demographic of those who are actively engaging?
My solution: I am 20 years old and I actively engage in most of the tools made available by the administration. I would like to see: More personal engagement from our president and senior staffers. An increase in messages targeting those of us under age 35 An outlet solely for those under 35 to engage through blogging and sharing their ideas – a Twitter town-hall focusing on government programs that will better serve youths in our communities, tools we can to engage out age group more in the political process, etc. Promotion of programs outside of the U.S. benefit youth in other country. Forums that bring together young people from across the world to share ideas in their respective interest.