Wiki Government: Engaging Citizen Intelligence

The US Government is looking for input on a proposed ExpertNet platform to interrogate the open community of citizens for knowledge and expertise pertaining to – well – anything that may be required to know in the future! This sounds like a great idea and we would love to propose a concept for such a national knowledge conversation system. But my first question comes up, how would your expertise really be used? What is meant by “feedback”? What are “government questions?”

The goal of ExpertNet is to enable government officials to search for and communicate with citizens who have expertise on a topic, giving them the opportunity to participate in a public consultation relevant to their areas of interest and know-how, and pose questions to and interact with the public to receive useful, relevant, and manageable feedback.

Draft Concept for Government-Wide “ExpertNet” Platform and Process To Elicit Expert Public Participation in Response to Government Questions

SUMMARY: With this notice, the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) requests input, comment, and ideas from the public on a draft concept for next-generation citizen consultation, namely a government-wide software tool and process to elicit expert public participation (working title “ExpertNet”). ExpertNet would tap the expertise of the public in a manageable and structured format. The goal of ExpertNet is to enable government officials to search for and communicate with citizens who have expertise on a topic, giving them the opportunity to participate in a public consultation relevant to their areas of interest and know-how, and pose questions to and interact with the public to receive useful, relevant, and manageable feedback. This Request for Information (RFI) will be active from December 8, 2010 to January 7, 2011. Respondents are invited to provide comments about or edits directly to the draft of the concept paper via an online discussion forum and wiki hosted by the White House Open Government Initiative and GSA and located at http://expertnet.wikispaces.com (the “Wiki”). In addition, respondents who cannot access the Wiki are welcome to download a copy of the concept paper at http://www.whitehouse.gov/open and e-mail comments to expertnet@ostp.gov.

How would you respond? I’m open to collaboration for a response to this opportunity. I would want such a service to be designed to facilitate multiple perspectives, to be as transparent as possible, and to enable citizens to respond as individuals or collectives.

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