Jeff Jarvis: "The United States of Google?"

Jeff Jarvis: "The United States of Google?"

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Jeff Jarvis of BuzzMachine is one of the commentators on media trends I most respect, and in the new BusinessWeek he has a lot to say:

What if a Google Guy were President?

Barack Obama may be the closest thing ever in the White House. The President is making weekly Web videos, his staff uses Twitter, and the White House has started a blog for daily developments. This may be just the start. On its Web site, the White House is promising more communication, transparency, and participation. If it can deliver on those promises, the Administration could make government more Google-y at least in terms of openness and collaboration.

But I wonder whether the Google (GOOG) worldview could bring more profound change to government. If the geeks take over the world—and they will—we could enter an era of scientific rationality in Washington.

I'm not suggesting government should be crowdsourced. I don't want rule by the mob, even the smart mob. The Internet requires filters, moderators, fact-checkers, and skeptics. So will the conversation that powers the country. That is the definition of a republic: representatives as filters. Those in power can use the Internet to become better informed about our needs and desires, and we can use it to speak and to contribute.

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