The White House soliciting feedback – Powered by IdeaScale

 “…we are proud to announce an important next step in this
historic call to action – one that will help us achieve a new
foundation for our government – a foundation built on the values of
transparency, accountability and responsibility.”

Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama


On January 21st, the President Barak Obama issued the Memorandum on
Transparency and Open Government, stating sweeping changes in the level
of participation and openness in government. We’re pleased to announce that we’ve teamed up with President Obama’s Office of Science and Technology of the President and National Academy of Public Administration to enable open feedback powered by IdeaScale. The level of transparency within the Obama Administration is unprecedented, and we’re happy to be one of the vendors chosen to help all citizens to participate.

This online brainstorming session will enable the White House to hear your most important ideas relating to open government, including innovative approaches to policy, specific project suggestions, government-wide or agency-specific instructions, and any relevant examples and stories relating to law, policy, technology, culture, or practice.

This session will provide ideas for two more stages of collaboration. Next, a discussion phase will occur were the top rated ideas will be explored further. Finally, a draft phase will be started, where anyone in the public can help edit the language for the final recommendations.

The Stats (as of 5/27):

  • 639 Ideas
  • 23,000 Votes
  • 200 requests/sec peak (voting/commenting/viewing)


What we Learned:

The default view on the home page was initially set to top rated ideas. While its fun to see whats top rated, the problem is that new ideas don’t have a chance to see the light of day. This was later changed to “recent ideas” mode, as we found that the site was more valuable as we provided a way for new ideas to get some traction (this is just a simple toggle in IdeaScale settings).

Twitter was the main model for expansion. Search for #ogov or on twitter – you’ll see the viral expansion. Twitter integration is bolted right into every IdeaScale community by default – all you have to do is turn it on.

The other thing that has gotten some excitement is our Widgets and API. We think every application out there should support a mash-up – we love them. To that end, IdeaScale supports lots of widget options and an accessible API with more and more methods being added all the time.

Press Coverage:

  • Survey Analytics’ IdeaScale crowdsourcing platform is providing a way for citizens to suggest and discuss ideas for increasing the openness and transparency of the federal government.

    Brier Dudley, Seattle Times
  • Xconomy | Seattle - Business + Technology in the Exponential EconomyUsing this Web platform, people can share their ideas and recommendations for how to make government more open, as well as vote on others’ proposed ideas.

    Greg Huang, Xconomy Seattle
  • a site where users can make and vote on suggestions of how the government can take further steps in this direction.

    Anthony Ha, Venture Beat
  • Ideas from the public will be solicited and sifted using IdeaScale, a third-party platform that enable anyone to post an idea, add comments, and vote them up or down. That process will run through May 28. The National Academy of Public Administration, which guided the discussion process on, will handle the management of this effort.

    Micah Sifry and Nancy Scola, TechPresident

  • Online discussions are scheduled to start on June 3 based on what the White House identifies as the most compelling ideas. On June 15, the public will be able to collaborate on more formal recommendations through a wiki, a Web page that allows users to add and edit content.“Aliya Sternstein, NextGov

  • OMB Watch Applauds Obama Administration’s Step Forward on Open Government” OMB Watch Press Release

More info: