WhiteHouse.gov begins testing out comments
WhiteHouse.gov, which has been criticized for not jumping into the deep end of the government 2.0 pool, is taking its first steps to accepting comments — specifically in connection to the The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
The White House posted the bill on WhiteHouse.gov. But Personal Democracy Forum’s techPresident.com’s Micah L. Sifry noticed on Friday that the comment space originally gave people only 500 characters to make their comment. “That’s absurd,” Sifry said on Twitter. A few days later, the White House increased the comment count restrictions to 5,000 characters — “Much better,” Sifry said.
Though it’s still a far cry from a meaningful use of the web to engage the public in monitoring and improving the legislative process. But I guess you have to take baby steps before you can walk.
Now you can enter the full text of a Maureen Dowd column and still have 500 characters left over for a few Ana Marie Cox tweets…
It’s a big step — and a signal that the White House new media team is working to come up with new ways of reaching out.