Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Another Crowdsourced Questionnaire -- But This One Is for Hillary, Mitt, and Barack

In August and September, here at the Brighton Centered Blog the online community "crowdsourced" a questionnaire for the six candidates for the Allston-Brighton District 9 City Council seat. Community members submitted questions, voted on the best questions, and then the candidates -- all six of them -- responded. It worked quite well. I stole the idea from another blogger here in town... but I can't say that I've heard about many other people creating political campaign questionnaires in the same communal manner.

Back in July, CNN and YouTube got together to run a Democratic presidential candidate's debate using questions submitted online, in video format, by ordinary people. CNN had an editorial board, however, picked out the questions that they used. Neat, although not fully crowdsourced because of the editorial board's selection of the final questions. (Fair enough criticism for me, too: I did a little bit of editorializing by picking the better 14 questions among those submitted, rewording and/or combining some questions, and then putting those 14 ones up for the vote.)

There is a new questionnaire being put together -- and it's on the national stage. and Talking Points Memo (a high-quality political blog) are running a fully-crowdsourced questionnaire-in-the-form-of-ten-videos that are submitted by ordinary people online. You can submit your own video, and vote on everyone else's submitted videos. The top ten will be sent to the presidential candidates as a questionnaire, and they'll submit video responses. The online viewers can then vote if the candidates actually answered the questions.

It'll be a fun process to watch, although I think the last step in the process is liable to get ruined by campaign meddling.

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