Vi Taylor

EnvironmentTrade.org

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What is the best example of an effective government social media / website for public engagement and policy transformation? Why?

I have to say that it will be hard to beat the US White House's "We the People" website at https://wwws.whitehouse.gov/petitions. The site provides all Americans with an opportunity to view existing petitions, write a petition, and vote on petitions. All public input is transparent. If a petition reaches a signature threshold the administration issues a response.

There are three features that I feel make the "We the People" site very effective.

(1) It is dynamic in that there are no time frame restrictions on issues. A more traditional government site may provide 30 days to respond to an issue, and after that no further comments from the public are accepted.

(2) The "We the People" site provides two-way transparency. That is, both the government and the people can view both the peoples' input and the government's response. A more typical government site may allow submissions or comments, but only the government is able to view the submissions.

(3) The site doesn't restrict or limit input to only certain groups of experts. It includes *all* Americans. There is no requirement for back-up documentation or formal research to provide credibility. The general public's response to an issue has an opportunity to be signed and reviewed as fairly as a well researched business, legal or scientific petition.

I challenge you to find a more effective and transparent government use of social media / web for public engagement and government policy transformation.