With the war in Gaza we’ve seen some of the uglier sides of social networking, where users can take a democratic platform of sharing information to attempt to manipulate and promote their own agendas. But today we see a blog post from Facebook that features guest author Mike Honda, a U.S. Congressman representing the 15th Congressional District of California. Facebook asked Honda to do the guest post on the company blog in order to share the ways in which he’s already been using the social network to share the experience of President-elect Obama’s upcoming inauguration.
Through two programs Honda promoted, Facebook users were able to post on his Facebook page the reasons they wanted to attend Obama’s inauguration, and to ask Honda’s constituents to propose ideas on how to reduce educational inequality in order to reform America’s education system. It’s an action-oriented way in which to commemorate the upcoming inauguration, and a leading example of how Obama’s call for change has permeated culture, including its technological manifestations via online networks.
Honda is using Facebook as a way to communicate his own goals as a California government official, as well as a way to seek feedback from the American people on what they’d like to see changed in the coming years. It’s a level of transparency that many sects of the U.S. government are seeking, despite some existing federal regulations that may present some obstacles towards reaching this goal.
Nevertheless, from Obama to Honda, social networking is continuing to prove a useful and effective way of opening the lines of communication between the government and the people. Read Honda’s full blog post here, and click here to learn more about the two programs launched by his office and promoted through Facebook.