April 2, 2007

Five ways Pres. candidates can get tech geek votes in `08

I believe Jon Stewart said it best: “why do all the fringe candidates make the most sense?”

And truth be told, they usually do. That's what costs them any real chance at winning the primary. Thankfully the Internet is set to have a much larger influence on public opinion than in previous election years. So naturally, the first group of people you really want to impress is the tech geeks. But they aren't going to be impressed by some campaign manager who knows how to hire a good web designer to make that shiny new social networking site.

What they need is a stance on Technology that sits between "public policy" and "Natl Security." Here's a list of things to add to the public forum:

1) Net Neutrality
This is obviously the biggest issue tech geeks are concerned with since it has the power to drastically change the Internet from its current state. Whether they agree with it or not it should be explained to the masses and added to the public discussion. There are plenty of Web sites that debate this issue so there is no need to spend more time on it. Moving on...

2) Government Web services 2.0
I dare anyone to try and gather definitive information from any governmental site. Its true that a simple Google search will more than likely turn up the results (whether it be PDF legislation, or simple contact information), but our tax dollars paid for this stuff. I want someone to make this stuff appealing and search-able to title and verse. And that's just concerning documents. What about the limitless other possibilities. (Think: "Google" is charged with revamping of all official Government Web.)

How many of you have been confused by annoying federal Web sites that yielded less than perfect results? If my mother can't figure it out, then its not done properly. Next...

3) A commitment to E-business
Stop treating everything new like its old business. Also: stop amending laws to fit an ever changing e-marketplace. What this really comes down to is how businesses love to complain about how the Internet is giving their stuff away for free.

What makes even less sense is that the rich corporate suits complaining the loudest are the same ones who teach their kids that the best market will work. This means if a business is losing money because it refuses to adapt to what people want, it will eventually fail.

RIAA? Sorry, this isn't the governments concern. Internet gambling anyone? I'd like a presidential candidate who is committed to speeding up this thought process and adding it to the congressional discourse.

4)Limiting the power of information
Any candidate who wants to win votes from techies will have to agree to some degree of transparency. If you want us to believe that you need to access personal information to protect us of the threat of terrorism, then start giving us gobs of information you deem classified. There are probably millions of documents and case files that could be declassified but otherwise sit in some basement somewhere because no one cares to check and see if its still valid. Lets not just make that freedom information act just sit there, force the federal government to make it accessible too.

5) Speed up broadband connections
North Korea has speeds of 100 Mb/s. They are also ruled by an insane dictator who wants to build nukes. I understand that the more control on top means yielding the best results (which in turn) means losing freedom and rights. But hey, we're the best country in the world right? A candidate that gets my vote will have to agree on that note. We can do better, and it shouldn't cost me either.

UPDATE: **I neglected to discuss open source, but it could easily fit in to this list.


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