Faith in government may have hit an all-time low, but citizens don’t seem to have lost their faith in technology, or in the Internet as a way to find solutions to major problems and share them globally. A Santa-Rosa Ca based company that makes decision-support software announced this morning that it is launching StoptheGusher.com to aggregate citizen ideas for stopping and remediating the Gulf oil spill.
Beginning about a month ago, the team at Democrasoft started to notice that there were many ideas beginning to surface, but no single repository where these ideas are neatly organized and vetted. So the company decided to create a place where everyone who had or knew of an idea could contribute it, and the ideas could be evaluated, as wall as voted up or down.
“The stakes are so high, and real progress seems so elusive. On that small possibility of making even a small difference, how can we not do this, especially with a tool like Collaborize at our disposal?” said Richard Lang, CEO of Democrasoft. “If we don’t do something, can we just assume that someone else will? feel a moral imperative to use our tools on behalf of Americans who are frustrated by the oil spill and want to contribute in some positive way to the situation.”
Democrasoft is asking visitors to go to StoptheGusher.com, and click on “Ask a Question.” Instead of asking a routine question, visitors can give their proposed solutions a name, describe and upload it as a text, a video or a PDF. They should then designate it as a “yes-no” question, which will allow people to vote it up or down, lending some consistency to the process.
The Stop The Gusher Collaborize suite will also include resources for sharing the best ideas of the site with government officials, British Petroleum and mainstream media outlets.