Popular Science publishes article with suggestions to the next president of the United States for a "new kind of Government", an executive branch that is "endowed with all the extraordinary capabilities of the modern internet".
"A truly modern presidency would tap into the vigor and potential of all Americans, by means of searchable online databases, full-scale interactivity, and the distributed problem-solving that comes with social networks. For the first time ever, and under your leadership, the federal bureaucracy can become more accessible, more transparent and -- most important -- more effective than it's ever been."
"A movement is building around the country -- indeed, around the world -- to work out how information technology might promote democracy and improve government."
The article explains past efforts in digitizing government has fallen short, quoting Beth Novecks obervation that "...much of what has been done so far has amounted to little more than digitizing paper, or 'dragging the file cabinet into cyberspace,'"
It highlights Peer to Patent as an example of using existing technology to successfully connect the public to government decision-making:
"As the next president, you should strive for something more substantial than online fireside chats, open-ended forums for public comments, and town-hall meetings in streaming video. Instead of devoting resources to these superficial, large-scale interactions, think small. [New York Law School]'s Noveck has worked to promote a radically different vision of how the opinions and expertise of regular Americans might be tapped to improve government decision-making. Instead of asking people to sound off on whatever bee happens to be in their bonnet, she wants to present the public with a series of specific questions, for which the government needs specific answers.
Her ideas are being tested at a social-networking Web site associated with the U.S. Patent Office called Peer-to-Patent. Here's how it works: Government employees now spend much of their time checking that the ideas contained in patent applications are sufficiently novel and interesting. Peer-to-Patent allows them to recruit unpaid specialists from around the world by posting the applications online. Users migrate toward the technologies they're most interested in; for example, a patent for a novel way to network turbines on a wind farm might attract computer scientists and environmental engineers. They can also rate one another's work or invite colleagues to participate. Then the group hashes out their thoughts over the Web -- not unlike creating a Wikipedia entry -- and passes the best ideas back to the Patent Office. That saves work for the clerks and improves the quality of their research. It might also cut the costs of patent litigation down the road."