Whitehouse.gov

If you haven’t looked yet, take a look. It’s pretty cool.

The White House Blog has an interesting first post. In it, it suggests the website will be Web 2.0. Among other things,

There’s also a form through which the blog encourages you to let them know what other features you’d like to see. That’s where this thread comes in. What other features do you think would be incredibly cool on the US government’s website?

For example, would a heavily-moderated messageboard that discussed legislation be interesting, or would it (as I suspect) inevitably run afoul of the first amendment? Should there be streaming video of public meetings at the WH? What else should there be?

Daniel

I am impressed. It has been up since at least 12:20 pm today. I am very pleased that he had put so much out there on his site. I think he may have communicated more by 1:00 pm today than W did in 8 years.

Yeah, that’s great to see.

Not to bitch or anything, but:

Let’s get crackin here, we haven’t got all day!

Maybe it’s the early-afternoon bourbon I’m having here (hey, celebration!), but that cracked me right up.

Daniel

I think to paraphrase only slightly tongue in cheek that a well regulated Message Board, being necessary to the voice of the people, the right of the people to make jackasses of themselves and spout all manner of hopelessly clueless bullshit shall not be infringed.

IOW I think that a message board a la the Straight Dopes Great Debates (and maybe a few other forums) would be a pretty cool idea, albeit a bit more heavily regulated as far as the topics for threads goes. It would be way cool to see Obama occasionally poke head in and give his thoughts on some of the more interesting topics as well.

-XT

I think a message board would be cool, but unworkable. To keep the discourse at even an average level would require pretty heavy handed moderation. I’m not certain that the government ought to back a board which by necessity would have to restrict speech. On the other hand, a cushy federal mod job sounds pretty nice. :slight_smile:

Would Obama’s user title be “Perfect Master”?

I’m not sure if it could be done, sadly. Whenever dumbshits complain about moderators violating their first amendment rights, the standard response is, “no, dumbass, only the government can do that.” A government-run messageboard might end up doing that: moderation of it would be constrained by the first amendment, wouldn’t it?

It could still probably be done, but every act of moderating would be a potential court date. Probably wouldn’t end up being worth it, awesome though it might be.

Daniel

Put in a EULA that people signing up for the board have to agree too if they want to post. I think most people are familiar enough with them these days that they wouldn’t balk. After all, we used to PAY for Mods to smack us down here when we got out of line. :wink:

It might be unworkable in the end but I think it’s something to definitely look into. Imagine some of the people who might drop into a thread on the White Houses message board and some of the knowledge they may impart…and some of the really great debates between high level folks on both sides of the debate!

-XT

I’d guess not. A courtroom is government property, but a judge can still tell you to sit down and shut up while you’re in it.

Puppycam?

Seriously though, the whole “Web 2.0” thing kinda makes me feel nervous when it comes to the CEO of the United States. It’s unlikely that anything but the illusion of participation will occur, and I’d rather that Obama get his ideas/information from somewhere other than people posting on the site.

I’m fine with them making all sorts of things available to us, like streaming video of recorded oval office meetings, or what have you. But I just can’t shake the idea what Whitehouse Web 2.0 is just… weird.

That’s an interesting point. I’d suspect that any sort of messageboardish option would necessarily lead to a court case, but you’re probably right that the court would decide broadly in favor of the mods, as long as the mods weren’t clearly favoring one political ideology above another.

Finnagain, I think you’re right that participation would be, for the most part, illusory–but the rare time that someone really smart posted something, it might be worthwhile.

Daniel

At least all the “O” keys on White House keyboards appear to be intact.

Heh, Bricker–I was wondering about that. I guess when it comes to destroying the government, the late administration didn’t go for the petty shit.

Daniel

Sure, but they turned some of them upside down, and replaced others with the 0 key.

[Deleted for stupidity.]

Staff was pro’by too busy getting rid of the “Ws” and wiping their fingerprints off of anything that could place them there.

Oh man–I just realized, all those “dumb ethnic” jokes that couldn’t be told? They’re now “Bush Admin” jokes. Thanks, Shibb0leth!

Daniel
Didja see how I turned the zero in your name upside down? I’m such a Bushie!

I’m not holding my breath for the “E” mails though.

When do we get to see Cheney’s secret lair?

Time place and manner restriction is already established as allowed by precedent. The line would be “no, I don’t think you understand, you CAN say that, just not here, on this messageboard, in this thread.” Their speech isn’t being censored, they just may not feel that whitehouse.gov/forums or whatever is the appropriate place to discuss that topic (or insult whoever in a certain manner, whatever). It’s the same rationale why the police can break up a protest that’s blocking the street or laws can restrict strip clubs to certain sections of town. It’s not that people can’t do something, it’s just that standing in a highway and blocking traffic or having a bar with almost-naked girls next to Disneyland may not be the smartest, safest, or most appropriate place or way to do it.