How is technology changing the world of Washington D.C.?

Jesse Lee blogging in WordPress

When I walked into the Speaker of the House’s press room and saw a staff member (Jesse Lee, Senior New Media Advisor for Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi) typing a blog into WordPress, I knew the world had changed (I remarked that I knew that Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic which makes WordPress, was a smart guy from the first time I met him). That’s Jesse on this post typing into his WordPress-run blog.

When I was talking with Senator Tom Coburn and he didn’t flinch when we turned on our live cameras during our interview, I knew the world had changed.

When I pulled out my cell phone like a tourist and no one looked at me like I was a dork, I knew the world had changed.

When I was talking with Representative Tim Ryan and he was talking about debating his fellow Congressmen via Twitter, I knew the world had changed. (Here’s his Twitter account).

When I visited the Senate Chambers and saw laptops on the floor, I knew the world had changed.

When I was talking with Representative John Culberson and he talked about showing President Bush Twitter and Qik (and getting shut down by the Secret Service), (Part I, Part II, Andrew Feinberg filmed the whole thing with his camera here). I knew the world had changed. Plus he ambushed a TMZ video crew this afternoon.

Some things that haven’t changed?

1. The President, today, was shown Qik and Twitter by Congressman John Culberson. Here’s his Qik account. Here’s his Twitter account. Culberson said he was amazed by the technology and almost agreed to do the first Qik interview from the Oval Office, but that the Secret Service jumped in and said that that was a no-no. His Twitter message from the Oval Office is the first from the White House that Culberson knows about.

2. The press room at the Senate was fairly old school. Laptops and cell phones are not allowed into Senate chambers. Culberson, in his interview with us, told us that he was going to break rules and bring his cell phone into some congressional hearings and film them so his constituency can see what goes on.

3. Culberson had not yet seen FriendFeed, but said that he’d been shown Summize (live Twitter search engine) by Erica O’Grady. He promised me he’d try FriendFeed.

At one point I looked at my son, Patrick, who is helping me out on this trip, and wondered just how much the world would change in his lifetime?

Tomorrow more questions and answers as we do even more interviews.

Comments

  1. Awesome job on recapping your mtgs on The Hill today. The time will come where we will see more transparency coming out of DC, which is very cool. Out with the old and in with the new. Technology is our enabler and what will enable us to stay competitive and be a world leader. Keep pushing and keep sharing the message and keep educating the masses through your viral network, it will make a difference.
    Cheers, F.

  2. Awesome job on recapping your mtgs on The Hill today. The time will come where we will see more transparency coming out of DC, which is very cool. Out with the old and in with the new. Technology is our enabler and what will enable us to stay competitive and be a world leader. Keep pushing and keep sharing the message and keep educating the masses through your viral network, it will make a difference.
    Cheers, F.

  3. Thanks for this, Robert. Enlightenment is slow but it’s coming, and meantime I had great fun discussing ANWR drilling last night on Twitter with @johnculberson – democracy is a wonderful thing.

  4. Thanks for this, Robert. Enlightenment is slow but it’s coming, and meantime I had great fun discussing ANWR drilling last night on Twitter with @johnculberson – democracy is a wonderful thing.

  5. When looking at how government needs to change, don’t just look at the Federal Government. I live in San Bernardino County, California, and when I was last called for jury duty, I had to leave my phone in the car. Why? Because it has a camera on it.

    Unfortunately, many “e-Government” attempts need to be examined via the filter of 9/11 – a world in which a shoe, or 4 ounces of a liquid, is perceived as potentially taking hundreds of lives. It’s understandable why the Secret Service may get a little jittery…

  6. When looking at how government needs to change, don’t just look at the Federal Government. I live in San Bernardino County, California, and when I was last called for jury duty, I had to leave my phone in the car. Why? Because it has a camera on it.

    Unfortunately, many “e-Government” attempts need to be examined via the filter of 9/11 – a world in which a shoe, or 4 ounces of a liquid, is perceived as potentially taking hundreds of lives. It’s understandable why the Secret Service may get a little jittery…

  7. Impressive and indicative at the same time… blogging with WordPress, but at-least two versions behind the latest release based on that image.

    Sure I’m being nit-picky but I bet you come up with your own bureaucracy punchlines after thinking about it for just a moment.

  8. Impressive and indicative at the same time… blogging with WordPress, but at-least two versions behind the latest release based on that image.

    Sure I’m being nit-picky but I bet you come up with your own bureaucracy punchlines after thinking about it for just a moment.

  9. Way cool.. I’ve had similar meetings recently in DC. It really is a changing government with e-government and v-government and government 2.0 – now we just need to get them to 11.0.

    p.s. it was great to meet you in person last year at Supernova.. shame I won’t be there this year.

  10. Way cool.. I’ve had similar meetings recently in DC. It really is a changing government with e-government and v-government and government 2.0 – now we just need to get them to 11.0.

    p.s. it was great to meet you in person last year at Supernova.. shame I won’t be there this year.

  11. @Sandra Possing
    Ya I cant wait for Obama to expand the government some more. Hopefully we will be under constant surveilance like the brits. Gobama!

  12. @Sandra Possing
    Ya I cant wait for Obama to expand the government some more. Hopefully we will be under constant surveilance like the brits. Gobama!

  13. I dunno, but I gotta believe the President has seen plenty of technology that is light years ahead of Qik and Twitter. Thus it’s no surprise he was left unimpressed

  14. I dunno, but I gotta believe the President has seen plenty of technology that is light years ahead of Qik and Twitter. Thus it’s no surprise he was left unimpressed

  15. There’s a lot of momentum for change. It’s nice to hear your you’ve seen some evidence in Washington. I believe we can change things, and it will take more than Obama… we’ll have to be bold and active as well. :)

  16. There’s a lot of momentum for change. It’s nice to hear your you’ve seen some evidence in Washington. I believe we can change things, and it will take more than Obama… we’ll have to be bold and active as well. :)

  17. Scoble is typical of those who live on the West Coast. There are more technology workers in the Wash DC region than Silicon Valley. (I’ll find the source of that data if you like)…..

    Fact is the business of Washington DC is communicating. Selling an idea a concept. Manipulating public opinion. I dare say, Scoble and his crowd are ignorant of the massive PR/Disinformation/Intelligence/Campaign/ complex that is the Washington DC region. From the “K” Street silk stocking Law firms to the Non-Profit organizations that are headquartered across the river in Alexandria they’ve been using technology to sell their messages for years. The “world” changed long ago in DC….it’s just that these self anointed visionaries like Scoble can’t imagine the world could function without their guidance.

  18. Scoble is typical of those who live on the West Coast. There are more technology workers in the Wash DC region than Silicon Valley. (I’ll find the source of that data if you like)…..

    Fact is the business of Washington DC is communicating. Selling an idea a concept. Manipulating public opinion. I dare say, Scoble and his crowd are ignorant of the massive PR/Disinformation/Intelligence/Campaign/ complex that is the Washington DC region. From the “K” Street silk stocking Law firms to the Non-Profit organizations that are headquartered across the river in Alexandria they’ve been using technology to sell their messages for years. The “world” changed long ago in DC….it’s just that these self anointed visionaries like Scoble can’t imagine the world could function without their guidance.

  19. @Ontario

    As a consultant one of the questions I ask before going on site with every customer is “Am I allowed to bring in my cell phone which has a camera?” and still get places where I can’t bring my phone on site with me. These are the same places my laptop (protected by anti-virus, firewall, anti-malware) is not allowed on the network as well.

    No suprise government places aren’t allowing cell phone cameras

  20. @Ontario

    As a consultant one of the questions I ask before going on site with every customer is “Am I allowed to bring in my cell phone which has a camera?” and still get places where I can’t bring my phone on site with me. These are the same places my laptop (protected by anti-virus, firewall, anti-malware) is not allowed on the network as well.

    No suprise government places aren’t allowing cell phone cameras

  21. Looks like someone needs to upgrade to WordPress 2.5! ;)

    speaking of “changing the world”, I think this pretty much sums up McCain’s view of technology
    http://thismodernworld.com/4369
    ‘“John McCain is aware of the Internet,” says Soohoo.’

    @Steve: if I were going to be cynical about this (and…. I am), I would say that sure, the President has probably seen some incredible military technology that is years away, but as far as being nonplussed about Qik or Twitter? i’d say 1) he probably doesn’t really understand the significance, and 2) he has (as Tom Tomorrow said in the link above) zero intellectual curiosity.

  22. Looks like someone needs to upgrade to WordPress 2.5! ;)

    speaking of “changing the world”, I think this pretty much sums up McCain’s view of technology
    http://thismodernworld.com/4369
    ‘“John McCain is aware of the Internet,” says Soohoo.’

    @Steve: if I were going to be cynical about this (and…. I am), I would say that sure, the President has probably seen some incredible military technology that is years away, but as far as being nonplussed about Qik or Twitter? i’d say 1) he probably doesn’t really understand the significance, and 2) he has (as Tom Tomorrow said in the link above) zero intellectual curiosity.

  23. @Steve

    I can assure you that you are incorrect and the premise of Scoble’s arguement is incorrect. The Congress-folk are aware of this stuff, and even amazed and/or amused by it but, as noted, they aren’t allowed to use things as simple as laptops or cellphones in a live setting.

    That’s nice that they are aware of these tools, but until we can “tweet” feedback into a live Senate hearing it’s all worthless. Our government is more worried about the potential security risks of basic technologies (cellphones and laptops) than they are interested in realizing their benefits. We are a loooong way off from anything we are starting to use now seriously penetrating the way gov’t works.

  24. @Steve

    I can assure you that you are incorrect and the premise of Scoble’s arguement is incorrect. The Congress-folk are aware of this stuff, and even amazed and/or amused by it but, as noted, they aren’t allowed to use things as simple as laptops or cellphones in a live setting.

    That’s nice that they are aware of these tools, but until we can “tweet” feedback into a live Senate hearing it’s all worthless. Our government is more worried about the potential security risks of basic technologies (cellphones and laptops) than they are interested in realizing their benefits. We are a loooong way off from anything we are starting to use now seriously penetrating the way gov’t works.

  25. Thanks for a nice post, it almost made me nostalgic remembering my school
    days, those were the times when internet and cell phone were catching up in Indian. Mobiles were very costly and no one other than rich guys could have imagined having that now. I saw India growing, catching up the pace of technology, fighting poverty and infrastructure …

  26. Thanks for a nice post, it almost made me nostalgic remembering my school
    days, those were the times when internet and cell phone were catching up in Indian. Mobiles were very costly and no one other than rich guys could have imagined having that now. I saw India growing, catching up the pace of technology, fighting poverty and infrastructure …

  27. Steve: from what Culberson told me, the President was impressed by Qik and Twitter.

    Allen: the problem with HD videos is you need to edit them, compress them, upload them. We probably won’t have them up until late next week because of that. So, you now have a choice. You can watch them live, but with low quality, or you can wait a week or two and see them in higher quality.

    Jonathan: I guarantee you that Ryan and Culberson are looking at their Tweets while they are in session, so that’s two members who can be live tweeted.

  28. Steve: from what Culberson told me, the President was impressed by Qik and Twitter.

    Allen: the problem with HD videos is you need to edit them, compress them, upload them. We probably won’t have them up until late next week because of that. So, you now have a choice. You can watch them live, but with low quality, or you can wait a week or two and see them in higher quality.

    Jonathan: I guarantee you that Ryan and Culberson are looking at their Tweets while they are in session, so that’s two members who can be live tweeted.

  29. robert – people can wait and if they are that important, then get more people at fc on the job – i will call paul today and have him move people over :)

  30. robert – people can wait and if they are that important, then get more people at fc on the job – i will call paul today and have him move people over :)

  31. Maybe you have your own satellite now. (picture Harrison Ford asking for one to be ‘tasked’ … “we need to track this guy”) :-)

  32. Maybe you have your own satellite now. (picture Harrison Ford asking for one to be ‘tasked’ … “we need to track this guy”) :-)

  33. Robert is everywhere, and a great guy. The reason that I started Politics 2.0, http://www.politics-20.com is to explore in depth that cutting edge between politics and technology (including all the web 2.0 features – all the good stuff).

    Barack Obama is solidifying (with discipline and expertise) the online winning principles that Dean (and others) contributed to building.

    It’s a new landscape, and a new disruptive frontier!

  34. Robert is everywhere, and a great guy. The reason that I started Politics 2.0, http://www.politics-20.com is to explore in depth that cutting edge between politics and technology (including all the web 2.0 features – all the good stuff).

    Barack Obama is solidifying (with discipline and expertise) the online winning principles that Dean (and others) contributed to building.

    It’s a new landscape, and a new disruptive frontier!

  35. All that “tech” and gas is still $4 a gallon.

    PR/Disinformation/Intelligence/Campaign/ complex…you forgot general Lobbyist, and Think Tank (Cato, Brookings, Heritage and such), and the Agenda-driven Advocacy Group PACs, all the Single-Issue Groups, State Governmental liaisons, Embassy Row and so on and so forth, everyone’s looking for a pay-off, either (wisely) keeping government at bay, or directing stealing from the taxpayers and all the resulting national and international diplomacy from hence.

    But see, Wash DC was years ahead of West Coast, it all filters military and works way into Langley and such, with real practical use, anyone spending much time on both coasts, would find that obvious. Wash DC has information as it’s lifeblood, it’s a vital thing, not a gadgetry geek tinker-toy tiddly-wink.

  36. All that “tech” and gas is still $4 a gallon.

    PR/Disinformation/Intelligence/Campaign/ complex…you forgot general Lobbyist, and Think Tank (Cato, Brookings, Heritage and such), and the Agenda-driven Advocacy Group PACs, all the Single-Issue Groups, State Governmental liaisons, Embassy Row and so on and so forth, everyone’s looking for a pay-off, either (wisely) keeping government at bay, or directing stealing from the taxpayers and all the resulting national and international diplomacy from hence.

    But see, Wash DC was years ahead of West Coast, it all filters military and works way into Langley and such, with real practical use, anyone spending much time on both coasts, would find that obvious. Wash DC has information as it’s lifeblood, it’s a vital thing, not a gadgetry geek tinker-toy tiddly-wink.

  37. Fifteen years ago, I worked for the VC arm of the nation’s largest cable TV operator and worked from time to time with people in the Beltway. The FCC had routine show-and-tells where companies are invited to show off their wares.

    Lots of people confuse the availability of technology with the actual uses of technology. Paris Hilton was texting along using her Sidekick for awhile before it was so rudely hacked and her address book shared with all 100 million of her closest friends. Most public figures generally choose to avoid that kind of embarrassment and let their staffers get comfortable with the services first.

    After about 20 years of doing this stuff, I’m pleased that the DNC has made bloggers a key part of their communications strategy during their conference in Denver. We’ve gathered them all together at
    http://www.lastsecondstuff.com/bloggers

  38. Fifteen years ago, I worked for the VC arm of the nation’s largest cable TV operator and worked from time to time with people in the Beltway. The FCC had routine show-and-tells where companies are invited to show off their wares.

    Lots of people confuse the availability of technology with the actual uses of technology. Paris Hilton was texting along using her Sidekick for awhile before it was so rudely hacked and her address book shared with all 100 million of her closest friends. Most public figures generally choose to avoid that kind of embarrassment and let their staffers get comfortable with the services first.

    After about 20 years of doing this stuff, I’m pleased that the DNC has made bloggers a key part of their communications strategy during their conference in Denver. We’ve gathered them all together at
    http://www.lastsecondstuff.com/bloggers

  39. I have to agree with mewcomm. The fact that Scoble seems amazed that walking the halls of the Capitol he saw technology in use is inticitive of the sheletered existence SV types live in. The govt has technology that would put anything coming out of SV to shame. The contrainst is being able to use it in the floor or in many public forums. Yay! One to random congressmen use Twitter. If it becomes more common, you bet your ass, the FBI and NSA are going to want to have access to those conversations at some point, particularly if there is questions of leaking of secret information.

    As for Bush being impressed by Qik and Twitter. Not how to accurately interprest that. For example, I’m always impressed when my 9 year old builds a winning pinewood derby car. Not all that evolutionary, but impressive none the less.

    Scoble seems to have gone to D.C. expecting to see the congress not having moved past 1800. Is sort of sad to have his son leave the visit with the expectation that the fed govt is finally catching up to the geeks. Again, a naive percepetion. Afterall, this was a govt that was able to send a man to the moon with computers less powerfull than my kid’s Nintendo DS. So, I gotta believe Twitter and Qik look laughable when put in context.

    As for Bush’s intellectual curiosity, neither you nor I know what his level is. All we have to go on is specualtion and commentary by the press. You’d just be hard pressed to convnice me that someone that has attained his level of success lacks intellectual curiosity. Either that, or you are suggesting the voting public has an IQ of about 80. (Which may be true, given Obamessiah’s popularity based on no platform)

  40. I have to agree with mewcomm. The fact that Scoble seems amazed that walking the halls of the Capitol he saw technology in use is inticitive of the sheletered existence SV types live in. The govt has technology that would put anything coming out of SV to shame. The contrainst is being able to use it in the floor or in many public forums. Yay! One to random congressmen use Twitter. If it becomes more common, you bet your ass, the FBI and NSA are going to want to have access to those conversations at some point, particularly if there is questions of leaking of secret information.

    As for Bush being impressed by Qik and Twitter. Not how to accurately interprest that. For example, I’m always impressed when my 9 year old builds a winning pinewood derby car. Not all that evolutionary, but impressive none the less.

    Scoble seems to have gone to D.C. expecting to see the congress not having moved past 1800. Is sort of sad to have his son leave the visit with the expectation that the fed govt is finally catching up to the geeks. Again, a naive percepetion. Afterall, this was a govt that was able to send a man to the moon with computers less powerfull than my kid’s Nintendo DS. So, I gotta believe Twitter and Qik look laughable when put in context.

    As for Bush’s intellectual curiosity, neither you nor I know what his level is. All we have to go on is specualtion and commentary by the press. You’d just be hard pressed to convnice me that someone that has attained his level of success lacks intellectual curiosity. Either that, or you are suggesting the voting public has an IQ of about 80. (Which may be true, given Obamessiah’s popularity based on no platform)

  41. I have to agree with mewcomm. The fact that Scoble seems amazed that walking the halls of the Capitol he saw technology in use is inticitive of the sheletered existence SV types live in. The govt has technology that would put anything coming out of SV to shame. The contrainst is being able to use it in the floor or in many public forums. Yay! One to random congressmen use Twitter. If it becomes more common, you bet your ass, the FBI and NSA are going to want to have access to those conversations at some point, particularly if there is questions of leaking of secret information.

    As for Bush being impressed by Qik and Twitter. Not how to accurately interprest that. For example, I’m always impressed when my 9 year old builds a winning pinewood derby car. Not all that evolutionary, but impressive none the less.

    Scoble seems to have gone to D.C. expecting to see the congress not having moved past 1800. Is sort of sad to have his son leave the visit with the expectation that the fed govt is finally catching up to the geeks. Again, a naive percepetion. Afterall, this was a govt that was able to send a man to the moon with computers less powerfull than my kid’s Nintendo DS. So, I gotta believe Twitter and Qik look laughable when put in context.

    As for Bush’s intellectual curiosity, neither you nor I know what his level is. All we have to go on is specualtion and commentary by the press. You’d just be hard pressed to convnice me that someone that has attained his level of success lacks intellectual curiosity. Either that, or you are suggesting the voting public has an IQ of about 80. (Which may be true, given Obamessiah’s popularity based on no platform)

  42. I have to agree with mewcomm. The fact that Scoble seems amazed that walking the halls of the Capitol he saw technology in use is inticitive of the sheletered existence SV types live in. The govt has technology that would put anything coming out of SV to shame. The contrainst is being able to use it in the floor or in many public forums. Yay! One to random congressmen use Twitter. If it becomes more common, you bet your ass, the FBI and NSA are going to want to have access to those conversations at some point, particularly if there is questions of leaking of secret information.

    As for Bush being impressed by Qik and Twitter. Not how to accurately interprest that. For example, I’m always impressed when my 9 year old builds a winning pinewood derby car. Not all that evolutionary, but impressive none the less.

    Scoble seems to have gone to D.C. expecting to see the congress not having moved past 1800. Is sort of sad to have his son leave the visit with the expectation that the fed govt is finally catching up to the geeks. Again, a naive percepetion. Afterall, this was a govt that was able to send a man to the moon with computers less powerfull than my kid’s Nintendo DS. So, I gotta believe Twitter and Qik look laughable when put in context.

    As for Bush’s intellectual curiosity, neither you nor I know what his level is. All we have to go on is specualtion and commentary by the press. You’d just be hard pressed to convnice me that someone that has attained his level of success lacks intellectual curiosity. Either that, or you are suggesting the voting public has an IQ of about 80. (Which may be true, given Obamessiah’s popularity based on no platform)

  43. I have to agree with mewcomm. The fact that Scoble seems amazed that walking the halls of the Capitol he saw technology in use is inticitive of the sheletered existence SV types live in. The govt has technology that would put anything coming out of SV to shame. The contrainst is being able to use it in the floor or in many public forums. Yay! One to random congressmen use Twitter. If it becomes more common, you bet your ass, the FBI and NSA are going to want to have access to those conversations at some point, particularly if there is questions of leaking of secret information.

    As for Bush being impressed by Qik and Twitter. Not how to accurately interprest that. For example, I’m always impressed when my 9 year old builds a winning pinewood derby car. Not all that evolutionary, but impressive none the less.

    Scoble seems to have gone to D.C. expecting to see the congress not having moved past 1800. Is sort of sad to have his son leave the visit with the expectation that the fed govt is finally catching up to the geeks. Again, a naive percepetion. Afterall, this was a govt that was able to send a man to the moon with computers less powerfull than my kid’s Nintendo DS. So, I gotta believe Twitter and Qik look laughable when put in context.

    As for Bush’s intellectual curiosity, neither you nor I know what his level is. All we have to go on is specualtion and commentary by the press. You’d just be hard pressed to convnice me that someone that has attained his level of success lacks intellectual curiosity. Either that, or you are suggesting the voting public has an IQ of about 80. (Which may be true, given Obamessiah’s popularity based on no platform)

  44. It sounds a little like you’re surprised we’re not all living in mud huts and hunting wild boar all day. Here around the beltway we have plenty of tech penetration, even Web 2.0 startups. The DC area is a great place for technology workers, particularly if you have secret clearance. Of course, with the bonus of not having to live in California ;-)

  45. It sounds a little like you’re surprised we’re not all living in mud huts and hunting wild boar all day. Here around the beltway we have plenty of tech penetration, even Web 2.0 startups. The DC area is a great place for technology workers, particularly if you have secret clearance. Of course, with the bonus of not having to live in California ;-)

  46. It sounds a little like you’re surprised we’re not all living in mud huts and hunting wild boar all day. Here around the beltway we have plenty of tech penetration, even Web 2.0 startups. The DC area is a great place for technology workers, particularly if you have secret clearance. Of course, with the bonus of not having to live in California ;-)

  47. It sounds a little like you’re surprised we’re not all living in mud huts and hunting wild boar all day. Here around the beltway we have plenty of tech penetration, even Web 2.0 startups. The DC area is a great place for technology workers, particularly if you have secret clearance. Of course, with the bonus of not having to live in California ;-)

  48. It sounds a little like you’re surprised we’re not all living in mud huts and hunting wild boar all day. Here around the beltway we have plenty of tech penetration, even Web 2.0 startups. The DC area is a great place for technology workers, particularly if you have secret clearance. Of course, with the bonus of not having to live in California ;-)

  49. Great stuff Robert, as expected. I look forward to the complete report.

    I must say, while I look forward to a new era, I shudder to think how this administration would have approached technology if it truly understood it. I think we dodged a bullet.

  50. Great stuff Robert, as expected. I look forward to the complete report.

    I must say, while I look forward to a new era, I shudder to think how this administration would have approached technology if it truly understood it. I think we dodged a bullet.

  51. @jcunwired

    “I shudder to think how this administration would have approached technology if it truly understood it. I think we dodged a bullet.”

    uhhhhh,,,,Huh? It was the previous administration that had all the technology they needed but chose to not act. They are the ones that dodged a bullet. Seems after suffering the consequences of the previous administration’s ineptitude, through the use of technology this administration has done a pretty good job of dodging subsequential bullets.

    Or are you suggesting that the govt. start using Twitter to respond to and track down Obama bin Laden when he uses Qik to make future propoganda videos?

  52. @jcunwired

    “I shudder to think how this administration would have approached technology if it truly understood it. I think we dodged a bullet.”

    uhhhhh,,,,Huh? It was the previous administration that had all the technology they needed but chose to not act. They are the ones that dodged a bullet. Seems after suffering the consequences of the previous administration’s ineptitude, through the use of technology this administration has done a pretty good job of dodging subsequential bullets.

    Or are you suggesting that the govt. start using Twitter to respond to and track down Obama bin Laden when he uses Qik to make future propoganda videos?

  53. It’s interesting the way many of these otherwise stodgy old Senators and Representatives are now reinventing themselves to embrace technology. It might not seem like a huge tech victory, but I think the fact that nearly every single person in the House and Senate has – and actively uses – a Blackberry. Now, we’re starting to see a few of them embrace new, social technologies and it’s really exciting.

    We should remember though that government is very slow to change and the Twittering and Qiking and other social media loving government officials will be lone rangers for a while. The others, well, they just need a little encouragement and education. Personally, I think we should take advantage of every opportunity to connect with our elected official and show them technologies like Twitter, Pownce, Qik, etc, and show them it’s not really that scary. Let them know that you, as a constituent, want them to use these technologies and it will make communicating with those they represent much easier and more transparent. Now is the time for open government and it’s never ever been easier to do.

    One last thing: one of the absolutely coolest things I saw happen this week in Washington news was Rep. John Culberson showing President Bush Twitter and President Bush listened to him. That is change! That is revolutionary. That is exciting.

    Thanks Robert for doing these interviews. Very, very cool.

  54. It’s interesting the way many of these otherwise stodgy old Senators and Representatives are now reinventing themselves to embrace technology. It might not seem like a huge tech victory, but I think the fact that nearly every single person in the House and Senate has – and actively uses – a Blackberry. Now, we’re starting to see a few of them embrace new, social technologies and it’s really exciting.

    We should remember though that government is very slow to change and the Twittering and Qiking and other social media loving government officials will be lone rangers for a while. The others, well, they just need a little encouragement and education. Personally, I think we should take advantage of every opportunity to connect with our elected official and show them technologies like Twitter, Pownce, Qik, etc, and show them it’s not really that scary. Let them know that you, as a constituent, want them to use these technologies and it will make communicating with those they represent much easier and more transparent. Now is the time for open government and it’s never ever been easier to do.

    One last thing: one of the absolutely coolest things I saw happen this week in Washington news was Rep. John Culberson showing President Bush Twitter and President Bush listened to him. That is change! That is revolutionary. That is exciting.

    Thanks Robert for doing these interviews. Very, very cool.

  55. Just look how aggressively Obama and Clinton had embraced the net during their campaigns.

    Now just try to imagine the elections of 2112

  56. Just look how aggressively Obama and Clinton had embraced the net during their campaigns.

    Now just try to imagine the elections of 2112

  57. with my wonk hat on ime not sure one could have a debate using twitter.

    And one debates a proposition not another person

    Oh and you know why Polaticians have pages/blackberrys it so the Whips can tell lthem how to vote and/or they can get the “line” on a particular issue from the party managers

  58. with my wonk hat on ime not sure one could have a debate using twitter.

    And one debates a proposition not another person

    Oh and you know why Polaticians have pages/blackberrys it so the Whips can tell lthem how to vote and/or they can get the “line” on a particular issue from the party managers

  59. @mewcomm and @ jerry

    er the US does have an 18th century policical system in a lot of ways the lack of true parties being one of the major mysteries to a lot of outsiders.

    and some of the pork bareling and dubious conduct that goes on would land an MP in jail here.

  60. @mewcomm and @ jerry

    er the US does have an 18th century policical system in a lot of ways the lack of true parties being one of the major mysteries to a lot of outsiders.

    and some of the pork bareling and dubious conduct that goes on would land an MP in jail here.

  61. @ And which is a major reason why ordinary citizens was were able to take up arms to defeat the largest Empire in the world and attain their independence. And to add insult to injury, with the help of The French! Ouch! How your govt works is of no interest to me, nor most US citizens, beyond an academic exercise, as it has no impact on our daily lives. But we are flattered you take particular imterest in ours.

  62. @ And which is a major reason why ordinary citizens was were able to take up arms to defeat the largest Empire in the world and attain their independence. And to add insult to injury, with the help of The French! Ouch! How your govt works is of no interest to me, nor most US citizens, beyond an academic exercise, as it has no impact on our daily lives. But we are flattered you take particular imterest in ours.

  63. @ And which is a major reason why ordinary citizens was were able to take up arms to defeat the largest Empire in the world and attain their independence. And to add insult to injury, with the help of The French! Ouch! How your govt works is of no interest to me, nor most US citizens, beyond an academic exercise, as it has no impact on our daily lives. But we are flattered you take particular imterest in ours.

  64. @ And which is a major reason why ordinary citizens was were able to take up arms to defeat the largest Empire in the world and attain their independence. And to add insult to injury, with the help of The French! Ouch! How your govt works is of no interest to me, nor most US citizens, beyond an academic exercise, as it has no impact on our daily lives. But we are flattered you take particular imterest in ours.

  65. @ And which is a major reason why ordinary citizens was were able to take up arms to defeat the largest Empire in the world and attain their independence. And to add insult to injury, with the help of The French! Ouch! How your govt works is of no interest to me, nor most US citizens, beyond an academic exercise, as it has no impact on our daily lives. But we are flattered you take particular imterest in ours.

  66. I am with Chris Cox, the FCC is an unneeded governmental organization, common contract-law can deal with spectrum/interference issues, no need to continue a bureaucracy hatched in the infancy of radio, and giving such agency the content regulation green light is fraught with serious constitutional issues (Fairness Doctrine and ilk), and all the competitive regulation smacks of planned Soviet-styled economies. It was an common-law overreach with the Radio Act of 1927, and the Communications Act of 1934, and even more so today. Plant the victory flag and kill it off.

  67. I am with Chris Cox, the FCC is an unneeded governmental organization, common contract-law can deal with spectrum/interference issues, no need to continue a bureaucracy hatched in the infancy of radio, and giving such agency the content regulation green light is fraught with serious constitutional issues (Fairness Doctrine and ilk), and all the competitive regulation smacks of planned Soviet-styled economies. It was an common-law overreach with the Radio Act of 1927, and the Communications Act of 1934, and even more so today. Plant the victory flag and kill it off.

  68. It’s not that the world changed, media changed; people remain the same, using the media. It didn’t effect some fabulous transformation on them. Your surprise that people on the right coast would seem to have the same toys you do on the left coast bewilders me, it’s as if you think, well, we made these and we should control how they get used.

    But, people pick them up and keep doing their thing. The war in Iraq didn’t stop, food prices didn’t go down, etc.

    I don’t know whether the FCC should be killed off, because I don’t know what force we could count on to keep tekkies themselves in check, along with their creations, given their scorn for representative democracy and the acceleration of their engineering. People hate the FCC when it doesn’t do what they want, and like it when it does what they want.

    I find it touching to think that people imagine if you can only get Bush to Twitter or Cheney to have a Facebook, the government will change. How silly. They have telephones and computers, and that didn’t change them. Nor the people who elected them — whom you were unable to persuade, even with your Internet and Youtubes.

    All of this has to be watched very closely so that the technology and coders do not take away our freedoms under the guise of the new.

  69. It’s not that the world changed, media changed; people remain the same, using the media. It didn’t effect some fabulous transformation on them. Your surprise that people on the right coast would seem to have the same toys you do on the left coast bewilders me, it’s as if you think, well, we made these and we should control how they get used.

    But, people pick them up and keep doing their thing. The war in Iraq didn’t stop, food prices didn’t go down, etc.

    I don’t know whether the FCC should be killed off, because I don’t know what force we could count on to keep tekkies themselves in check, along with their creations, given their scorn for representative democracy and the acceleration of their engineering. People hate the FCC when it doesn’t do what they want, and like it when it does what they want.

    I find it touching to think that people imagine if you can only get Bush to Twitter or Cheney to have a Facebook, the government will change. How silly. They have telephones and computers, and that didn’t change them. Nor the people who elected them — whom you were unable to persuade, even with your Internet and Youtubes.

    All of this has to be watched very closely so that the technology and coders do not take away our freedoms under the guise of the new.

  70. It’s not that the world changed, media changed; people remain the same, using the media. It didn’t effect some fabulous transformation on them. Your surprise that people on the right coast would seem to have the same toys you do on the left coast bewilders me, it’s as if you think, well, we made these and we should control how they get used.

    But, people pick them up and keep doing their thing. The war in Iraq didn’t stop, food prices didn’t go down, etc.

    I don’t know whether the FCC should be killed off, because I don’t know what force we could count on to keep tekkies themselves in check, along with their creations, given their scorn for representative democracy and the acceleration of their engineering. People hate the FCC when it doesn’t do what they want, and like it when it does what they want.

    I find it touching to think that people imagine if you can only get Bush to Twitter or Cheney to have a Facebook, the government will change. How silly. They have telephones and computers, and that didn’t change them. Nor the people who elected them — whom you were unable to persuade, even with your Internet and Youtubes.

    All of this has to be watched very closely so that the technology and coders do not take away our freedoms under the guise of the new.

  71. It’s not that the world changed, media changed; people remain the same, using the media. It didn’t effect some fabulous transformation on them. Your surprise that people on the right coast would seem to have the same toys you do on the left coast bewilders me, it’s as if you think, well, we made these and we should control how they get used.

    But, people pick them up and keep doing their thing. The war in Iraq didn’t stop, food prices didn’t go down, etc.

    I don’t know whether the FCC should be killed off, because I don’t know what force we could count on to keep tekkies themselves in check, along with their creations, given their scorn for representative democracy and the acceleration of their engineering. People hate the FCC when it doesn’t do what they want, and like it when it does what they want.

    I find it touching to think that people imagine if you can only get Bush to Twitter or Cheney to have a Facebook, the government will change. How silly. They have telephones and computers, and that didn’t change them. Nor the people who elected them — whom you were unable to persuade, even with your Internet and Youtubes.

    All of this has to be watched very closely so that the technology and coders do not take away our freedoms under the guise of the new.

  72. It’s not that the world changed, media changed; people remain the same, using the media. It didn’t effect some fabulous transformation on them. Your surprise that people on the right coast would seem to have the same toys you do on the left coast bewilders me, it’s as if you think, well, we made these and we should control how they get used.

    But, people pick them up and keep doing their thing. The war in Iraq didn’t stop, food prices didn’t go down, etc.

    I don’t know whether the FCC should be killed off, because I don’t know what force we could count on to keep tekkies themselves in check, along with their creations, given their scorn for representative democracy and the acceleration of their engineering. People hate the FCC when it doesn’t do what they want, and like it when it does what they want.

    I find it touching to think that people imagine if you can only get Bush to Twitter or Cheney to have a Facebook, the government will change. How silly. They have telephones and computers, and that didn’t change them. Nor the people who elected them — whom you were unable to persuade, even with your Internet and Youtubes.

    All of this has to be watched very closely so that the technology and coders do not take away our freedoms under the guise of the new.

  73. It’s not that the world changed, media changed; people remain the same, using the media. It didn’t effect some fabulous transformation on them. Your surprise that people on the right coast would seem to have the same toys you do on the left coast bewilders me, it’s as if you think, well, we made these and we should control how they get used.

    But, people pick them up and keep doing their thing. The war in Iraq didn’t stop, food prices didn’t go down, etc.

    I don’t know whether the FCC should be killed off, because I don’t know what force we could count on to keep tekkies themselves in check, along with their creations, given their scorn for representative democracy and the acceleration of their engineering. People hate the FCC when it doesn’t do what they want, and like it when it does what they want.

    I find it touching to think that people imagine if you can only get Bush to Twitter or Cheney to have a Facebook, the government will change. How silly. They have telephones and computers, and that didn’t change them. Nor the people who elected them — whom you were unable to persuade, even with your Internet and Youtubes.

    All of this has to be watched very closely so that the technology and coders do not take away our freedoms under the guise of the new.

  74. For the record I think New Media JIm and I were probably two of the first two twitter from the white house if not just from the briefing room or elsewhere in the West Wing.

    Aside from that – and as someone who works in and around the Capitol, the White House and other federal buildings – it is absolutely amazing the amount of technology, the little nuances that we take for granted creeping its way into our government. This campaign season I think has helped a lot to drive the technology to the forefront with all of the digital outreach from the candidates via Twitter, streaming services like Mogulus, Skype, Ustream, BlogTV, etc., Youtube, Myspace, LinkedIn and countless others. Candidates are blogging, the Library of Congress is blogging, and apparently Reps are ambushing the ambushers with THEIR cellphone video. It’s truly amazing – and one can only hope that it isn’t just a trendy thing that these folks are playing with – but stumbling steps towards transparency and opening up portals to the community. Twitter and Youtube aren’t going to save the world – but they are going to allow people to see a lot of angles on things they otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Politicians and government offices are going to use social media as a ‘marketing tool’ to share information, use it as a soapbox, voice their opinions, and campaign – which some would say is no different from using TV or any other medium, that they’ll be selling us the same BS via the web – but like DIGG or Delicious or anything else – in a digital forum the people are the police – and to quote Christian Slater…”you gotta remember dear, I can smell a lie like a fart in a car”…and people can. When people smell bullshit they stop listening. They criticize. And that’s the difference. In a digital forum – there are a lot more voices to help cancel out the polarized views we’re used to on network television. In the meantime I just hope we all continue to have a lot of fun with it. The real human benefit of all of this social media “stuff” are the big three, “learn, teach, and share.” If somehow this all opens up a better dialog between people and their representatives/government organizations then – fricken yeah! *Takes off rose colored social media glasses*…

    Or its all trendy techy stuff and this is all bullshit. Its all going to come down to them marketing to us “the sheep” via another medium and we’ll all keep generating a lot of noise in the background – some of which will be meaningful – a lot of which won’t.

    Good to see you Robert, exciting that you got to do this, looking forward to the HD video – Jonny and i appreciate and really enjoyed the interview with you and Gary V. Come back anytime…we’ll show you how to get down in D.C. I know how much you like to dance. The interviews are up on my and Jonny’s blogs.

  75. For the record I think New Media JIm and I were probably two of the first two twitter from the white house if not just from the briefing room or elsewhere in the West Wing.

    Aside from that – and as someone who works in and around the Capitol, the White House and other federal buildings – it is absolutely amazing the amount of technology, the little nuances that we take for granted creeping its way into our government. This campaign season I think has helped a lot to drive the technology to the forefront with all of the digital outreach from the candidates via Twitter, streaming services like Mogulus, Skype, Ustream, BlogTV, etc., Youtube, Myspace, LinkedIn and countless others. Candidates are blogging, the Library of Congress is blogging, and apparently Reps are ambushing the ambushers with THEIR cellphone video. It’s truly amazing – and one can only hope that it isn’t just a trendy thing that these folks are playing with – but stumbling steps towards transparency and opening up portals to the community. Twitter and Youtube aren’t going to save the world – but they are going to allow people to see a lot of angles on things they otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Politicians and government offices are going to use social media as a ‘marketing tool’ to share information, use it as a soapbox, voice their opinions, and campaign – which some would say is no different from using TV or any other medium, that they’ll be selling us the same BS via the web – but like DIGG or Delicious or anything else – in a digital forum the people are the police – and to quote Christian Slater…”you gotta remember dear, I can smell a lie like a fart in a car”…and people can. When people smell bullshit they stop listening. They criticize. And that’s the difference. In a digital forum – there are a lot more voices to help cancel out the polarized views we’re used to on network television. In the meantime I just hope we all continue to have a lot of fun with it. The real human benefit of all of this social media “stuff” are the big three, “learn, teach, and share.” If somehow this all opens up a better dialog between people and their representatives/government organizations then – fricken yeah! *Takes off rose colored social media glasses*…

    Or its all trendy techy stuff and this is all bullshit. Its all going to come down to them marketing to us “the sheep” via another medium and we’ll all keep generating a lot of noise in the background – some of which will be meaningful – a lot of which won’t.

    Good to see you Robert, exciting that you got to do this, looking forward to the HD video – Jonny and i appreciate and really enjoyed the interview with you and Gary V. Come back anytime…we’ll show you how to get down in D.C. I know how much you like to dance. The interviews are up on my and Jonny’s blogs.

  76. For the record I think New Media JIm and I were probably two of the first two twitter from the white house if not just from the briefing room or elsewhere in the West Wing.

    Aside from that – and as someone who works in and around the Capitol, the White House and other federal buildings – it is absolutely amazing the amount of technology, the little nuances that we take for granted creeping its way into our government. This campaign season I think has helped a lot to drive the technology to the forefront with all of the digital outreach from the candidates via Twitter, streaming services like Mogulus, Skype, Ustream, BlogTV, etc., Youtube, Myspace, LinkedIn and countless others. Candidates are blogging, the Library of Congress is blogging, and apparently Reps are ambushing the ambushers with THEIR cellphone video. It’s truly amazing – and one can only hope that it isn’t just a trendy thing that these folks are playing with – but stumbling steps towards transparency and opening up portals to the community. Twitter and Youtube aren’t going to save the world – but they are going to allow people to see a lot of angles on things they otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Politicians and government offices are going to use social media as a ‘marketing tool’ to share information, use it as a soapbox, voice their opinions, and campaign – which some would say is no different from using TV or any other medium, that they’ll be selling us the same BS via the web – but like DIGG or Delicious or anything else – in a digital forum the people are the police – and to quote Christian Slater…”you gotta remember dear, I can smell a lie like a fart in a car”…and people can. When people smell bullshit they stop listening. They criticize. And that’s the difference. In a digital forum – there are a lot more voices to help cancel out the polarized views we’re used to on network television. In the meantime I just hope we all continue to have a lot of fun with it. The real human benefit of all of this social media “stuff” are the big three, “learn, teach, and share.” If somehow this all opens up a better dialog between people and their representatives/government organizations then – fricken yeah! *Takes off rose colored social media glasses*…

    Or its all trendy techy stuff and this is all bullshit. Its all going to come down to them marketing to us “the sheep” via another medium and we’ll all keep generating a lot of noise in the background – some of which will be meaningful – a lot of which won’t.

    Good to see you Robert, exciting that you got to do this, looking forward to the HD video – Jonny and i appreciate and really enjoyed the interview with you and Gary V. Come back anytime…we’ll show you how to get down in D.C. I know how much you like to dance. The interviews are up on my and Jonny’s blogs.

  77. For the record I think New Media JIm and I were probably two of the first two twitter from the white house if not just from the briefing room or elsewhere in the West Wing.

    Aside from that – and as someone who works in and around the Capitol, the White House and other federal buildings – it is absolutely amazing the amount of technology, the little nuances that we take for granted creeping its way into our government. This campaign season I think has helped a lot to drive the technology to the forefront with all of the digital outreach from the candidates via Twitter, streaming services like Mogulus, Skype, Ustream, BlogTV, etc., Youtube, Myspace, LinkedIn and countless others. Candidates are blogging, the Library of Congress is blogging, and apparently Reps are ambushing the ambushers with THEIR cellphone video. It’s truly amazing – and one can only hope that it isn’t just a trendy thing that these folks are playing with – but stumbling steps towards transparency and opening up portals to the community. Twitter and Youtube aren’t going to save the world – but they are going to allow people to see a lot of angles on things they otherwise wouldn’t have seen. Politicians and government offices are going to use social media as a ‘marketing tool’ to share information, use it as a soapbox, voice their opinions, and campaign – which some would say is no different from using TV or any other medium, that they’ll be selling us the same BS via the web – but like DIGG or Delicious or anything else – in a digital forum the people are the police – and to quote Christian Slater…”you gotta remember dear, I can smell a lie like a fart in a car”…and people can. When people smell bullshit they stop listening. They criticize. And that’s the difference. In a digital forum – there are a lot more voices to help cancel out the polarized views we’re used to on network television. In the meantime I just hope we all continue to have a lot of fun with it. The real human benefit of all of this social media “stuff” are the big three, “learn, teach, and share.” If somehow this all opens up a better dialog between people and their representatives/government organizations then – fricken yeah! *Takes off rose colored social media glasses*…

    Or its all trendy techy stuff and this is all bullshit. Its all going to come down to them marketing to us “the sheep” via another medium and we’ll all keep generating a lot of noise in the background – some of which will be meaningful – a lot of which won’t.

    Good to see you Robert, exciting that you got to do this, looking forward to the HD video – Jonny and i appreciate and really enjoyed the interview with you and Gary V. Come back anytime…we’ll show you how to get down in D.C. I know how much you like to dance. The interviews are up on my and Jonny’s blogs.

  78. [...] How is technology changing the world of Washington, DC? -  Famed media advocate Robert Scoble visits a city near and dear to my heart to discuss the intersection of technology and politics with congressmen and more, and the first-ever Twitter tweet is sent from the White House.  A brief and powerful piece full of videos and other media, definitely worth a look. [...]

  79. [...] How is technology changing the world of Washington, DC? -  Famed media advocate Robert Scoble visits a city near and dear to my heart to discuss the intersection of technology and politics with congressmen and more, and the first-ever Twitter tweet is sent from the White House.  A brief and powerful piece full of videos and other media, definitely worth a look. [...]

  80. “When I visited the Senate Chambers and saw laptops on the floor, I knew the world had changed.”

    The laptops on the Senate floor have been there for years – I purchased and installed some in 2003 (since replaced), and those were replacing laptops that had been there for at least 3 years prior.

    And because I’m tired I’ll comment on another post here as well.
    “Only two congressmen use Macs. Out of 435 Representatives and 100 Senators.”

    There are more than two Mac using congressmen in the Senate alone, and Apple’s presence has increased steadily over the past 5 or 6 years.

  81. “When I visited the Senate Chambers and saw laptops on the floor, I knew the world had changed.”

    The laptops on the Senate floor have been there for years – I purchased and installed some in 2003 (since replaced), and those were replacing laptops that had been there for at least 3 years prior.

    And because I’m tired I’ll comment on another post here as well.
    “Only two congressmen use Macs. Out of 435 Representatives and 100 Senators.”

    There are more than two Mac using congressmen in the Senate alone, and Apple’s presence has increased steadily over the past 5 or 6 years.

  82. [...] twitter goes I had times where I thought I would have to go back, namely after reading posts by Robert Scoble while he was in DC. Twitter is still has major players behind it and hopefully they will soon realize that twitter [...]

  83. Well be seeing a lot more advances in technology with our new president. I’m eager to be a part of these new discoveries. It’s amazing.

  84. Well be seeing a lot more advances in technology with our new president. I’m eager to be a part of these new discoveries. It’s amazing.