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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.