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Daily Digest | Obama Hangs "Open for Questions" Sign on the White House

BY Editors | Wednesday, March 25 2009

  • Obama Hangs "Open for Questions" Sign on the White House "[W]e're going to try something a little different," says President Obama in a new video released last night. "We're going to take advantage of the Internet to bring all of you to the White House to talk about the economy." And with that, the new administration inaugurated the West Wing edition of Open for Questions, the experiment in giving citizens a direct line to the Oval Office that the transition team first ran during the days. He wrapped by issuing a bit of a challenge: "So, America, what do you want to know about the economy? Just go to and ask me." Read more.
  • Disaster Experts: Twitter is Deadly Serious Stuff Disaster experts are taking Twitter seriously, Nancy Scola reports. Dr. Jeannette Sutton of the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Hazards Center spoke yesterday about the role of the micro-content communications network on a conference call that also featured participants from the Red Cross, FEMA, the Department of Homeland Security, and Twitter itself. "These tools are creating tremendous opportunities that we know are going to lead to safer communities," said Sutton. Read more.
  • Collaboration, Congress, and the Results of the Brito Experiment Jerry Brito, George Mason University research fellow and founder of the crowdsourced site, went before the House Government Oversight committee this week to testify on how government watchdogs can help prevent waste and fraud in the allocation and use of stimulus dollars. Brito put his money where his mouth is and participated in what may well have been the very first example of congressional testimony crafted via wiki. Commenters helped Brito reorganize his testimony and tweak some word choices. How did it turn out? Read more.
  • DIYcity: We Built This City on Rails and Code Perhaps best described as Etsy meets Model UN, DIYcity aims to empower citizens to collaboratively create "a city that is like the Internet in its openness, participation, distributed nature and rapid, organic evolution -- a city that is not centrally operated, but that is created, operated and improved upon by all." The brainchild of John Geraci, co-founder of local media aggregator, DIYcity has spread from its roots in New York City to branches in more than 40 global cities, from Kuala Lumpur to Curitiba, Brazil.Read more.
  • Last Night's Press Conference: Obama Shuns Newspapers, Reporters Call "Audibles" If you dedicated an hour of your life last night to watching Obama's second presidential press conference, then you saw that the way the president ticked through the list of pre-selected reporters made it seem like he could have benefited from the help of a maître d'. "Is Lourdes here?," he asked at one point. Obama didn't call on one major newspaper, but Plum Line's Greg Sargent cautions against using last night's press conference to add weight to the idea that Obama is actively trying to route around some sort of traditional media filter. Read more.
  • NASA CIO Solicits Input, Let's Give Hime Some Matthew Burton covers a story that slipped through the cracks: Chris Kemp, the CIO of NASA's Ames Research Center (the place responsible for the just-launched Kepler satellite and the next-generation Mars rovers), wrote a blog post about the future he envisions for NASA's Web presence. Burton finds Kemp's post encouraging, and encourages you to reply to his post. Read more.