Salesforce.com Powers Obama's Change.gov Citizen's Briefing Book

Consider this a followup to yesterday's entry - and one that shows the power of CRM 2.0 too.
Written by Paul Greenberg, Contributor

Consider this a followup to yesterday's entry - and one that shows the power of CRM 2.0 too.  Big time.

This morning, as part of the larger announcement of salesforce.com's ServiceCloud applications (to be covered at a later date)  I found out that salesforce.com's Ideas social application is being used by the Obama-Biden transition team to tap into the "wisdom of the crowds" prior to the inauguration.  The Obama-Biden transition team set up a "Citizen's Briefing Book" that went live Monday (that's not the breaking news, in case you didn't do the math) and that will be up through tomorrow (that would be Friday the 16th) ONLY that is there to gather up citizen's ideas enmasse and bring the "best ideas"  directly to the newly-minted Prez himself after the inauguration on January 20.

If you go to the site this is what you'll see on the "home page" of the Briefing BookCitizen's Briefing Book - Obama

Once you've signed into the Citizens Briefing Book which you can do here, you find an issue or idea that you're passionate about and then under that area you can write in a policy that you'd like to see, an idea for something that you have, how you feel about something the administration is proposing.  OR you can comment on something that someone else already entered. You can also vote up or down any particular citizen entry. Vote up, a cool little "+10" animation floats up and fades out and 10 points are added to the total. Vote down...you can guess, I'm sure.

There are several notable things about this that intermingle public service and social CRM/CRM 2.0.

  1. This is how what was campaign marketing built around social media  is being transitioned to constituent services and interaction by the new administration.  See my posting yesterday for details.
  2. This is an effective use of a trend in social communications and influence that we've seen over the past few years called "crowdsourcing" that was popularized by ""="">  Crowdsourcing is defined by the willingness to tap into what is a group-think that assumes that the combined wisdom of the masses under specific circumstances is often more "right" than an individual decision. The framework that's been created for it is typically something like - go to a site, write in your solution, have people vote it up or down and comment on it & make an informed decision based on what is a good idea/solution and the mass acceptance/rejection of that solution in combination with judgment. Ultimately, there is a still a judgment being made here by less than the crowd - but the group is the fount for the solution and its popularity as a solution.
  3. Salesforce.com's Ideas platform is being used for what is sometimes called an "activity" - a short term, archivable event - what I've been calling an "outcome driven social network" - something that isn't designed to stay around forever but is still a social network with a purpose - and an end point.
  4. Don't take this the wrong way, because this is a good thing,  but the resemblance to the salesforce.com Ideas-based MyStarbucksIdea is almost blatant - not in look but in process.  MyStarbucksIdea has been a major success in the social world. There's no reason to think that Citizen's Briefing Book won't be in the public service world. This makes me think that the Briefing Book is built on force.com - as is all of the Ideas based applications.

The Citizen's Briefing Book, powered by salesforce.com's Ideas platform, is something that can and should be emulated by the public and private sectors. First, CRM 2.0 platforms can obviously power these useful social nets - because they now are doing that.  Second, the socia network doesn't have to be a Facebook or a Linkedin that's there in perpetuity. It can be created for a particular outcome and when that outcome is achieved archived as part of a new kind of content for a knowledgebase - tapping a community that was built for the express purpose of gathering that knowledge and making useful judgments on it.

CRM 2.0 in action seems to be working - and it seems to be doing that when the public (Obama administration) and private (salesforce.com) partnership makes its transition to a new kind of structure.

But then again, I've got a clear interest in wanting it to work.  You folks got any ideas on this? Is this a good use of it? Is CRM 2.0 beginning to dance with the stars?   Let me know. Fire away.  If we only could do that vote up or down thing on comments on ZDNET......

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