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12/2/2008
02:27 PM
Venkatesh Rao
Venkatesh Rao
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Can Blogging at Obama Affect Technology Policy?

Several opinion-makers trying to influence President-Elect Obama's technology policies thorough blogs. Part of the intent, no doubt, is to simply use a historic election and a public focal point to aid mass communication. But it does seem like these bloggers seem to be nurturing long-shot hopes that they'll actually be heard. Here are three examples:

Most of this stuff is very much at the vision-and-principles level, with no attempt to link the suggestions to how federal technology policymaking actually works. This begs the question, how would you actually (rather than rhetorically) attempt to influence Obama in novel ways? To make the goal concrete, here's a hypothetical challenge: get Obama to take $1 billion of the many billions he's promised for green energy research, and use it to fund a new NSF/NIH program in support of home-office technology, to get more cars off the road. Is there a Lobbyist 2.0 out there willing to take on this challenge?

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