feature jump-starts health care discussion

New feature on President-elect Barack Obama's transition site encourages collaborative problem-solving for big issues like health care reform.

A new feature called "Join the Discussion" was added Tuesday to President-elect Barack Obama's transition Web site,, making the site more interactive for visitors.

The new page allows people to post to comments on a specific topic deemed a top priority by Obama. The page's first discussion focuses on health care and features a video from health care transition team members Dr. Dora Hughes and Lauren Aronson. As of Wednesday morning, more than 1,100 comments had been posted.

"A critical part of our health reform efforts is making sure every American voice is heard," Hughes says in the video. "We hope this is the beginning of a producitve and ongoing dialogue with Americans."

Obama amassed a large following on multiple social-networking sites during his campaign, including his own social-networking site, By contrast, appeared decidedly Web 1.0 at its launch.

The new feature does not change that status much, as it simply allows people to post comments to the site. However, the page at least makes the comments viewable to other people. Other pages, such as "Share Your Story," feature a submission form that is sent to the transition team. Some stories submitted via that page have been featured on the blog.

While the site still does not feature many user-driven elements, Obama's advisers have indicated the president-elect is interested in embracing Web 2.0 ideas like wikis to help solve America's problems. The transition team may be heading in that direction with the launch of the "Join the Discussion" page.

The page "will allow us get instant feedback from you about our top priorities," the blog says. "We also hope it will allow you to form communities around these issues--with the best ideas and most interesting discussions floating to the top."



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