Uncle Sam is listening…but this time without a wiretap

unclesamiphoneWhen I wrote, “Lessons from Our First Social Media President” last November, it was clear then that this incoming Administration would probably fulfill their campaign pledges of transparency, continuing to engage the American people, and bring change to government.

On January 21, 2009, his first full day in office, the President issued a Memorandum on Transparency and Open Government, in which he called for recommendations that make the Federal government more transparent, participatory, and collaborative.

As part of that mandate, the White House recently completed the first phase of their “Open Government Brainstorm” initiative, which opened the door to ideas from citizens, government employees, and interested others.

Guess what they discovered? We want to participate and do so online with things like social media. One document, Social Media and the Federal Government: Perceived and Real Barriers and Potential Solutions (PDF) produced by the Federal Web Managers Council (the 30 most senior web managers) which clearly shows that there is pent-up demand by both citizens and employees to leverage social media…but there are a bunch of barriers and obstacles in the way. With what I’ve seen thus far, the Obama administration is all about removing obstacles and this will be no different.

If you’re interested in reading more, check out this White House blog post on the brainstorm wrap-up.