First German Chancellor Angela Merkel started her own video-podcast series. Then a bunch of smart students and university graduates turned the tables on her and launched Direkt zur Kanzlerin! (“Direct to Chancellor!”), a platform where citizens can post questions for Angela Merkel. Anybody can submit a text, audio or video message for her on the site. Then people can vote for their favourite questions by mouse click.
After getting blog buzz and media coverage for their idea, the students got Angela Merkel’s attention. The Federal Press Office has now stepped up and agreed to answer the top three question each week on behalf of the Chancellor.
It is a different kind of Web 2.0 success story – a great little example of the potential that the ongoing spread of new, user-friendly technologies holds. What a great example of a couple people getting together and trying to make a difference through tech-driven grassroots democracy!
Consultant and author Anthony D. Williams recently blogged about the question: “is government ready for the Web 2.0 era?” Looks like the German government is playing catch-up with its people. But the Federal Press Office deserves credit, too. At least they are ready to participate in the project. It’s a start.
Note: The “Direct to Chancellor!” site is only available in German.