Monday, December 15, 2008

The Obama Transition Team creates ad hoc threaded discussions using Intensedebate.com

The Obama Transition Team wants input on issues from citizens, and is now hosting discussion of questions like "What social causes and service organizations are you a part of that make a difference in your community".

People post their answers to the questions, and others can post a reply, check the reputation of the person who posted the answer, or vote it up or down. In the example shown below, we see that Denise C., who has 34 reputation points, submitted an answer to the question. So far, two people have voted her answer up, and the user is invited to vote up or down.

If you follow the link to a discussion question, you will see a fairly polished Web site with a short video elaborating on the question and the ensuing discussion. The Transition Team was able to quickly create this ad hoc site with a mashup in which the video is stored on YouTube and the threaded discussion, with its reputation and rating scheme, is hosted by intensedebate.com.

Would you respond to a Transition Team question? Do you think this process will generate meaningful input from the public and that the Transition Team will read it? Will it make people feel they are being listened to? Will it change politics?