In my coverage of yesterday’s launch of Data.gov, the Obama administration’s new central website for sharing government data with the public, it looks like I missed an important piece of the administration’s efforts to make government more open — the launch of opengov.ideascale.com, a site where users can make and vote on suggestions of how the government can take further steps in this direction.
It also looks like I wasn’t the only one to miss it. Vivek Bhaskaran of IdeaScale, the company powering the open government site, says 179 ideas have been submitted so far, and they’ve received 5,252 votes in all. That’s not bad, but it’s not exactly overwhelming, especially for a site that’s supposed to reflect the ideas of the entire country. Bhaskaran says the site is getting about 200 requests per second (a combination of votes, comments, and page views), whereas it’s prepared for about 2,000. In comparison, the Recovery.gov site for learning how the government stimulus package gets spent has received as much as 4,000 visits per second.
Bhaskaran says he’s hoping that discussion on Twitter (search for the #ogov hashtag to see related tweets), as well as the posting of idea widgets on other websites, will bring more visitors in. I definitely plan to weigh-in over the weekend, and if you’ve got thoughts of your own, please check it out. In the meantime, here are the five most popular ideas so far:
1. Support a 72-Hour Mandatory Public Review Period on Major Spending Bills
2. Encourage State and Local Governments to Become More Open and Inclusive
3. Fully fund participation and collaboration activities
4. Hold Agencies Accountable for Implementing the Open Government Directive
5. Centralize petitions to Congress and the President