The promise of transparency seems to be on the lips of politicians and government officials of all stripes, and with good reason – we need it in a democracy! But while there’s little argument over the value of transparency, there is one nagging problem: How do we actually achieve it?
The profusion of websites established by city, state, and federal government agencies certainly do a wonderful job of disseminating information. But true transparency requires more. It requires give and take, back and forth; in short, an open discourse between and among the government and the governed. The citizens must be able to voice opinions, concerns, and support, and be both heard and responded to.
This week SharedBook is doing its part. Our annotation platform is being used by Representative John Culberson of Texas to allow his congressional district in Houston to review H.R 3200, also known as the Majority Healthcare Bill. It’s the most controversial and important legislation we’ve had in years, and it can affect all of the Congressman’s constituents. We’re delighted to have been chosen to provide the enabling technology for this important issue. You can have a look here.
It’s great to be part of the larger effort to use the social media opportunities and the full interactive power of Web 2.0 to allow transparency to be realized. Let’s hope this is just one small step of many towards achieving that goal.
For more information, take a look at the press release we’ve sent today.