Friday, June 27, 2008

Real-time government - not as far away as you think

I was able to take part in an inpromptu live online video and text discussion this morning between Congressman John Culberson of Texas and initially with the Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal, and then with Grover Norquist, the President of Americans against Tax Reform (pictured below) at a fund raising event in the US.

While I'm not their constituency (although I am a Director of an oil company with production interests in Petrolia), there were a number of others watching who were, and it was a fascinating look at the democratic process in evolution.

The online discussion was an opportunity for Congressman Culberson to directly reach and represent his constituency, asking and answering questions put to him.

The entire discussion was managed through the use of free online social media technologies, Twitter was used to inform the Congressman's constituents that the discussion was taking place and then Quix was used to capture the video on a mobile phone and stream it live to the internet , presenting it on a page where people could text chat directly with the participants, receiving verbal replies.

As one of the first in I was privileged to be mentioned by name - making it the first time I think I've been mentioned by an elected US Congressman.

That type of closeness - between individuals and their elected officials - is now becoming available, and we'll see how soon these technologies are in use in Australia's community Cabinet meetings and similar events.

Below is a screenshot I took of the event (see me at right logged in as CraigThomler).

The Congressman will also be conducting several further interviews through the evening using the same tools and the permanent record will be up at Quix.

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