Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Get Ready to Wiki-collaborate

"Collaboration-by-wiki" is coming to open-government ... soon.

If you're interested in government transparency, but have been putting off learning how to use all these new "Web 2.0" tools (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.), then NOW is the time to start learning how to use a "wiki" to collaborate.

Because, in the very near future, it looks like you may have the opportunity to make edits to the draft federal report of recommendations for "Transparency and Open Government" that Pres. Obama wants delivered to the White House within 120 days (i.e., by May 21st), which will then be the basis for creating the "Open Government Directive" (OGoD).

According to the most recent issue of DotGovBuzz (a federal newsletter from the General Services Administration):

"The White House is using OMB's MAX wiki to solicit innovative ideas, proposals and brainstorming about how government can tackle the topics of transparency, public participation and collaboration, until March 6. Currently MAX is only open those with a dot gov email address, but plans are to create another website open to the public." [my emphasis added]

Of course, all of this is being developed on the fly, so whatever "plans" the White House have right now are still evolving. But, at this point in time, it looks like there will be some type of online opportunity for the public to review the draft recommendations and provide feedback.

And that feedback platform may be nothing more than the "thumbs-up/thumbs-down" option offered for issues on during the Presidential transition. BUT, they might set up a "public-facing wiki" similar to the one being used now for federal employees to brainstorm and collaborate on recommendations for the report.

And, if it's true that those federal employees only have until March 6 to contribute via the "MAX-wiki", then many of them may spend most of the next 8 days on a learning-curve of how to "collaborate-by-wiki". So, we should not be surprised if the timeframe for the public's feedback is similarly short.

And that is why it is important for you to start getting up to speed on how a wiki works. But I'm no expert myself, so I'm inviting your suggestions on the best web-tutorials, etc. for learning how to "collaborate-by-wiki".

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