Citizen participation that scales: a call to action

Posted by Vic Gundotra, Vice President, Engineering

(Cross-posted from the Official Google Blog)

At Google we hold weekly town hall-style meetings with our founders, CEO, and guest speakers, which always feature a Q&A session. Managing Q&A is a unique challenge with an audience of thousands, in offices around the world, who inevitably want to ask more questions than we have time to answer. To help address this challenge, we developed Google Moderator, built on App Engine.

Moderator gives participants a way to submit questions and vote for the ones they want answered. And thanks to the scale that App Engine provides, this application can now support tens of thousands of people at once. This gives everyone the chance to be heard in a way that gives priority to the issues that matter most to the broader group.

As you may have heard, the White House is hosting an online town hall meeting on Thursday and has asked people to submit questions for the president and vote on which ones they think he should answer.

We think technology can be a force for greater accountability and access between citizens and their elected officials. We’re excited that the White House has chosen to use the power of cloud-based applications like Google Moderator and App Engine to scale the president’s direct dialogue with the American people.

To take part in this experiment in citizen participation, please visit:

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