If you’ve ever sent a letter to your congressman or submitted comments in response to a proposed federal agency rule, then you know that talking to the government can be akin to screaming into the void. You have to jump hoops to submit your information, no one seems to be listening, and the response is almost always a form letter.

Anil Dash is trying to change that. He and Expert Labs are working on a project to revamp the way Americans communicate with our government. It’s a bold experiment in crowdsourcing ideas and information to help policymakers reach better decisions. At its heart, the project is testing ways to reaching out to people where they already are. So maybe it’s about letting people “like” ideas on Facebook, “favorite” tweets, or answer a question seeded on LinkedIn. Dash, who spoke at the “.gov is the new .com” Sweets and Tweets event last week, said the incentive could be as simple as recognition (e.g., identifying the good and best answers on LinkedIn).

For more about what Dash had to say, OhMyGov has a great piece on DC’s emerging start-up culture and Debbie Weil has a good wrap-up (with links to photos and the livestreamed video).

Photo by Simon Yates (Flickr).

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