Peer-to-PCAST: Open Video for Open Government

The Obama Administration has outlined a set of principles and practices to support Open Government in which citizens can collaborate with the government to solve problems. The Administration is using technology, especially web-based technology, to support Open Government in practice. Many of the government’s websites include video. We have examined the website built to support the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology (PCAST). We critique it and argue that a number of important design decisions made for the current site should be changed to better support Open Government. Key to our argument is what has come to be known as Open Video, an application of the ideals of Open Source Software to video. Our critique is followed by a discussion of a prototype system we have built to demonstrate an alternative to the current PCAST site. Our prototype is called Peer-to-PCAST to call attention to the similarities between our proposals and Peer-to-Patent, the first Open Government system built for a different context, the US Patent and Trademark Office.

Contact: Warren Sack <>
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