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Check Out This Cool Thing the White House Is Testing For #SOTU

BY Nick Judd | Tuesday, February 12 2013

The director of the White House Office of Digital Strategy, Macon Phillips, is asking folks on Twitter to kick the tires on this tool that looks like it will allow people to offer feedback on any sentence from President Barack Obama's speech tonight with a click of the mouse.

Users can scroll through the text of the president's prepared remarks — right now, the test page carries his address from last year — and as they do so, each line under their mouse cursor is highlighted. Clicking brings up a prompt to enter your name, occupation, a brief response to the line, and your email address and ZIP code.

At least on the test so far, the responses are not shared with users automatically. But if it goes into production, the White House will surely capture information about how many people responded to each line, aggregate data on the text of their responses, where in the country they say they are, and, in general, whether a given line enjoyed a generally positive or negative response. In previous initiatives — such as their We the People platform — White House officials have held that information close and then released some of it later on in a controlled way, as part of a messaging push either around a given issue or to prove the worth of the platform itself.

News Briefs

RSS Feed monday >

First POST: Video Stars

How the White House hit a home run on YouTube post-State of the Union; why the Barrett Brown sentencing casts a chill on online security research; how media producers use Crowdtangle to optimize their Facebook audiences; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Moneyballed

The Gates Foundation's new "global citizens" email database, and why it's a terrible idea; why young people like the NSA more than older people; using open data about NYC taxi drivers to ID Muslims; and much, much more. GO

thursday >

First POST: Monkeying

Net neutrality proponents call foul on the GOP's plans; StandUnited.com seeks to be the right's Change.org; tons of civic tech news from mySociety, Chicago and Civic Hall in NYC; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Punch List

Obama's State of the Union and the Internet; how HealthCare.gov shares personal data with third-parties; Facebook says it will give users tools to tag false or hoax content in their News Feeds; and much, much more. GO

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