Senate Opens the Door for Web 2.0 Usage

Back in July, we covered the story about Congressional use of Twitter and social tools ad nauseum. Frankly, it was an epic story around here – defining in many ways – and has opened the door for other opportunities to be involved in the political and policy discussion around Washington, D.C.

I plan to have Congressman John Culberson, who was at the center of the House controversy, on the Aaron Brazell Show in weeks to come to discuss the changes and progress being made in the House, it’s important to note that the Senate actually has taken the first step to modernize and unshackle legislators hands.

Andrew Noyes writes Wednesday in Congress Daily about the changes (subscription only):

As part of the change, Rules Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein and ranking member Robert Bennett included some exceptions. A member, committee or office may separately maintain Web sites or post material on third-party platforms as long as they abide by guidelines.

The Rules Committee plans to offer a “non exhaustive list” of approved third-party sites. Those sites must agree to disclose when content is maintained by a Senate office and is banned from adding commercial or political material or links to an office-maintained page.

The rules also go on to outline rules for the third party websites, prohibiting data collection of personally identifiable information about users.

All in all, common sense approaches to web/government crossover and it’s nice to see that the Senate rules never become a political football like the House rules did. The House is trying to mirror these rule changes on their side.

The Aaron Brazell Show: Episode 1 – Politics, Policy and Technology

Saturday night, I was joined by Leslie Bradshaw, Art Lindsey (who I started calling Al toward the end of the show, sorry Art!), Leslie Poston and Andrew Feinberg in an interesting discussion about policy and technology inside the beltway. Steve Hodson and S. Dawn Jones also joined in during the show.

It was a fascinating discussion, and borderline offensive at times, as discussions revolved around Congress and Social Media, which I covered here last week, racism on the internet and the iPhone 3G, which Hodson found offensive. :-)

To be clear, because I heard loudly and clearly from many listeners, politics is a sensitive area. Everyone thinks they are right and people typically prefer arguing than dialogue. I prefer dialogue and tried to Picture 5.pngmaintain some semblance of give and take. For my part, I remain independant with both conservative and progressive views on various issues. I don’t mind arguing and debating or even people telling others that they are completely wrong. The line that I draw is one of respect and when the respect line is crossed, that’s where I have issues. Despite the sensitive nature of some of our discussions, I don’t believe the respect line was crossed and I support the right of all the panelists to express their opinions, even if it offends some.

While this was the first episode of the Aaron Brazell Show (successor of the failed video show Technosailor TV), it won’t be the last. Next week, Glen Stansberry and Jared Goralnick join to discuss productivity and Freshbooks is giving away a one year subscription to it’s Shuttlebus package.

You can listen to Episode 1 or Subscribe in iTunes.

NPR Interview This Morning

NPR’s Laura Conway from the Bryant Park Project (syndicated on a dozen or so NPR affiliates between 7-9am ET) called me this morning for a brief chat about the Congress rules fiasco that I’ve been monitoring.

Not only was this interview important for me personally (it’s NPR during the morning drivetime commute) but it’s very important for the issue at hand (it’s NPR during the morning drivetime commute!). Going on NPR this morning broke the story outside of the blogosphere and catapulted it into the attention of millions of Americans, many of whom use social communications tools everyday.

Thanks Laura and the BPP crew for the call.

Note: this is a rough recording off my computer while the show streamed. Will update with the “clean” copy from NPR after the archive copy goes up.
Listen Now.

Update: The NPR archive is up. Go listen to a better quality here.