The Obama transition team has launched a variety of options on their web site to invite grass-roots participation. These include in-home meetings, on line topical forums, open forums, and invitations to submit personal stories and opinions.
Today's (12/29) email broadcast invites questions. The site lets viewers vote on the questions they most want answered, and the team gives responses to some of the most popular ones.
Here's what John Podesta said in today's letter:
We recently launched a new feature on Change.gov called Open for Questions. Thousands of you responded, asking 10,000 questions and voting nearly a million times on questions from others.
Now that we've answered some of the most popular ones from the last round, we are open for questions again. Ask whatever you like, and vote up or down on the other questions to let us know which ones you most want the Transition to answer.
Get started now at http://change.gov/openforquestions.
We're looking forward to learning about what you want to know.
John D. Podesta
Obama-Biden Transition Project
I am sure it has not been easy to deal with the volume of opinion these efforts generate for the team. This innovation is particularly clever in that it lets those who participate prioritize the questions. Unlike the earliest requests for input, one doesn't get the feeling of being ignored. The first submissions triggered auto-replies and writers rarely got a response indicating that a human had actually read the item.