Image by Sean Hackbarth via FlickrAt noon today, change.gov has morphed into whitehouse.gov! And it has a blog in frontpage!
It might seen as a small detail, compared to this historic inauguration day, but from my perspective it means a lot in term of understanding what the Internet can bring to democracy. And how it can be leveraged to let the people support and power democracy.
The new site is not only a blog it's a contribution-oriented website, promising participation. I really like this quote from the first post in the blog:
Participation — President Obama started his career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he saw firsthand what people can do when they come together for a common cause. Citizen participation will be a priority for the Administration, and the internet will play an important role in that. One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.
It's the first time in history that the available technology allow to bring participation to this level. Apparently someone noticed it and think it's a good thing. And not only to win power, apparently, but to actually execise it.
I'm not a "social guy". I'm not a big fan of "social stuff" just because it's social. But there some people got it right I think. Technology is gonna change things. Just as the Radio changed things. Or the TV. But this time, wider and deeper in our societies and democracies. Time to refine and improve our government model and our democracy's mechanisms. For good. At least, I believe and hope.
I can't wait to see it applied and how people will leverage it. After changing our lives, the Internet is going to deeply change the core of our government and modern societies. It's going to change the way we see politics, government and decisions.
And I'd love to see this coming to our shores, old Europe. It will, of course, at some point. It's the sense of the History. But the sooner the better. From good ol' Paris, it still seems (way too) far away, even if we've seen some recent shy improvements in the last few years (there is a webtv on the presidency website…).
PS: ho, and where's the link with open source? well… not so much except that the Internet, which might now improve democracy after having basically changed our lives, is largely powered and supported by open source software!
PS2: OK, now we're back to our normal programming.