Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

Celebrities, Unions, Members of Congress All #AskObama

BY Nick Judd | Wednesday, July 6 2011

Representatives John Boehner, who is the House speaker, Darrell Issa, Patrick McHenry, Bill Johnson, Adam Kinzinger and others in the House and Senate are using the #askObama hashtag to pepper President Barack Obama with questions.

They're retweeting each other, exhorting their followers to ask questions, and posing their own.

Obama's town hall-style event at 2 p.m. today is supposed to feature top-retweeted questions from that hashtag, as well as questions selected by region, topic, and from a team of curators. Twitter co-founder and event moderator Jack Dorsey may well pose questions for the commander-in-chief that come from members of Congress who have drummed up too much support for theirs to ignore. Other folks are getting in on the action; this morning, Mike Allen reported in Politico Playbook that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce would drum up Twitter support from its allies through online campaigns.

One of the things I'm curious about is how much sorting Twitter and the White House will do for folks who want to see top tweets as selected by the Twitterverse and the event moderators. The Twitter Search tool doesn't seem to be doing a good job of showing who's been getting retweets — which is problematic given that top-retweeted questions should have a higher probability of being put to the president.

Fortunately, there are other tools. Around here we like Twazzup — here's a Twazzup page for the #AskObama hashtag — and, full disclosure, we like it because we've been using it at Personal Democracy Forum conferences for the last year or so.

According to Twazzup, here are some of the most-circulated tweets around the event so far. This list changes rapidly and I'm not confident that this or any service can keep a running tally with any great degree of confidence, but when I checked, Twazzup listed all of these tweets as being retweeted dozens of times:

(h/t Mark Drapeau)

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

NYC Open Data Advocates Focus on Quality And Value Over Quantity

The New York City Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications plans to publish more than double the amount of datasets this year than it published to the portal last year, new Commissioner Anne Roest wrote last week in an annual report mandated by the city's open data law, with 135 datasets scheduled to be released this year, and almost 100 more to come in 2015. But as preparations are underway for City Council open data oversight hearings in the fall, what matters more to advocates than the absolute number of the datasets is their quality. GO

Civic Tech and Engagement: Announcing a New Series on What Makes it "Thick"

Announcing a new series of feature articles that we will be publishing over the next several months, thanks to the support of the Rita Allen Foundation. Our focus is on digitally-enabled civic engagement, and in particular, how and under what conditions "thick" digital civic engagement occurs. What we're after is answers to this question: When does a tech tool or platform enable actual people to make ongoing and significant contributions to each other, to a place or cause, at a scale that produces demonstrable change? GO

monday >

Tweets2Rue Helps Homeless to Help Themselves Through Twitter

While most solutions to homelessness focus on addressing physical needs -- a roof over the head and food to eat -- one initiative in France known as Tweets2Rue knows that for the homeless, a house is still not a home, so to speak: the homeless are often entrenched in a viscous cycle of social isolation that keeps them invisible and powerless. GO

Oakland's Sudo Mesh Looks to Counter Censorship and Digital Divide With a Mesh Network

In Oakland, a city with deep roots in radical activism and a growing tech scene at odds with the hyper-capital-driven Silicon Valley, those at the Sudo Room hackerspace believe that the solution to a wide range of problems, from censorship to the digital divide, is a mesh net, a type of decentralized network that is resilient to censorship and disruption and can also bring connectivity to poor communities.

GO

More