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Four Letters to the United States

Correspondence with government institutions of the United States regarding different ways they could use RSS to increase awareness of various government actions.

After paying my taxes, I decided to ask for something back. Imagine a government RSS reader, all the civic activities of the country feeding right into your computer, simple to review. Add a Semantic Web layer and everyone can annotate and chat about the content of the government's each and every action (an idea that I first heard discussed, in a different form, by the folks at MonkeyFist).

It could happen quite easily, if only we had the RSS files to make it happen.

Note that the content of all 4 messages is roughly the same; read one and you've read 'em all.

Using the Internet towards a more participatory democracy has long been a “big idea” of pundits. Whether they're serious or not, or just blowing buzzword trumpets, is kind of up in the air. I'm too close to the Earned Income Credit bracket myself to attend conferences to see.

Anyway, who cares 'bout no pundits? I'm serious about increasing the quality of participatory democracy using the Internet.

1
Letter to the Supreme Court
Regarding RSS feeds. Submitted via email 21 April, 2003.
Monday, April 21, 2003
2
Letter to the Senate
Regarding RSS feeds. Submitted via email 21 April, 2003.
Monday, April 21, 2003
3
Letter to the House of Representatives
Regarding RSS feeds. Submitted via email 21 April, 2003.
Monday, April 21, 2003
4
Letter to the White House
Regarding RSS feeds. Submitted via form 21 April, 2003.
Monday, April 21, 2003


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About the author: I've been running this website from 1997. For a living I write stories and essays, program computers, edit things, and help people launch online publications. (LinkedIn). I wrote a novel. I was an editor at Harper's Magazine for five years; then I was a Contributing Editor; now I am a free agent. I was also on NPR's All Things Considered for a while. I still write for The Morning News, and some other places.

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