Tag Archives: empowerment

WhiteHouse.gov Is Not Social! But It Could Be…

So many people are giving the Obama administration props for http://www.whitehouse.gov. To me it is a nice first step at making the Government more transparent. But it fails to be an “online community” like some in the Media, on Twitter and blogs have suggested. Here is a quick video I did proving it is purely a push website, and not an interactive community:


Here are 5 things the Obama Administration can do to engage and empower not only the American community-but he world community:

  1. Create an Ideas area  like Dell’s Ideastorm. This can be open to anyone who wants to share ideas that will help America get out of this financial mess. As I mentioned in the video, it could be sharing something another government has had success implementing. Or maybe there is a brilliant nugget in the mind of some 10 year old political whiz kid. Either way- the “we” has been proven to be smarter than the few. Might as well give the masses the vehicle to present the American Government with the nuggets that could really instill “change”.
  2. Events– Conduct live Chats with Senators and key members of the Government. The purpose of these chats is to give people a chance to ask tough questions. Obviously not all of the questions can be answered. But within those questions is valuable Intelligence. Intelligence the Government can use to understand what is really on their citizens minds. For the citizen, it is a way to be heard. For the very reason ESPN is successful using sports chats, so too will the Government. Use Recognition Rewards to drive participation.
  3. Instill empowerment through the use of Recognition Rewards– Great participation should be rewarded in the form of their very own blog post on the WhiteHouse.gov website. Also, Barack Obama is very popular right now. I am sure there are hoards of folks that would share their thoughts for a right to dine with the big guy!
  4. Live Chats During Speeches & Press Conferences – This gives folks a reason to come back to the community. But for the same reasons outlined above, it will give the Government an unfiltered look in the minds of the citizen. It is also would be great if 3 questions from the chat are asked after the speech or during the press conference. I never understood why the media was the only people allowed to ask questions. And I understand that many of the questions are seeded questions. Let’s put an end to that! Every day I get asked questions from customers off the cuff and I am no worse for wear. Government officials are paid a hell of a lot more money then I- they can handle it!
  5. Profiles – Each Citizen can create their own profile. This way they can favorite the topics that are important to them. They can track the progress of the agendas right from their profile. They will also be able be ranked as citizen, and will be able to set reminders to return for events that are important to them. Lastly, they can buddy up with other citizens to create and organize events to push the causes or candidates that they are passionate about.

In the end this takes money. Tax money! But  much of this can be outsourced away from the Government. Community management and moderation can be had! Just ask me and I will send Barach & Co. in the right direction. Come to think of it- wasn’t Macon Phillips hired to be the Director Of New Media for the Obama Administration?


The Common Denominator Between Barack Obama & Chris Brogan

I was sprawled out on the couch chatting with @Alexa about Colin Browning’s blog “Barack, Inc: Let’s Go Change the World” when I saw the following post pop up on Twitter from Chris Brogan.

chris21

Chris’s kudos to @northernchick immediately made me think back to Barack Obama’s victory speech in November when the name David Plouffe was met with a roar of approval.

What is the connection? Obama is now the most powerful man in the world while Mr. Brogan is your friendly neighborhood social networking guru. But the connection is simple-both men are master motivators. They reward great contributions through recognition, acknowledgement and a boost to the ego. It is psychology 101- rewarding acceptable behavior will stimulate similar behaviors in the future.

The fundamental success of both business and entertainment social networking projects revolve around the leaders of the projects ability to stoke the egos of its members to contribute and stay engaged. Forget hammering the value proposition of the community home (that falls in line with brand recognition-a post for another day), once they are involved- how does one keep the members engaged and empowered? It starts with empowerment and recognition. All great leaders are able to rally, empower and motivate. Both Obama and Chris Brogan are successful in the same way.

If you are starting down a social networking path or having limited success with your existing project, start thinking about a Recognition Rewards program. I will have future posts about how those rewards programs can motivate and empower the egos of your constituents. Before you know it, you might be as motivational as the fine chaps I referenced in this post and acheiving the business objectives you set out to conquer.


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