HOW TO: Submit Your Ideas for DoD’s Open Government Plan

OpenDefense: Share.Discuss.VoteValerie Miller is a Defense Fellow in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs. She operates the Defense Department’s Facebook Fan Page and Twitter account.

When I post a story to the Department of Defense (DoD) Facebook Fan Page or send out an update via the DefenseGov Twitter feed, I get instant feedback.  By taking into account this feedback, I am able to better provide the kind of information that our fans and followers care about.

Now, the whole of government is using a similar strategy to increase transparency and public involvement in decision-making. President Obama believes this focus on Open Government will “strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in government.”

To get involved, visit DoD’s Open Government page at  The best way to get started using the site is to locate the box on the left side of the screen titled, “Join the Conversation.” This will take you to the Ideascale tool, which allows you share, discuss, and vote on ideas for DoD’s Open Government Plan.

1. Sign up.  You can log-in with your user name and password if you have an AOL, Google, Yahoo!, or WordPress account. Or, you can start a new account by entering your e-mail address and selecting a password.

Sign up with your preferred account or register a new one!

Sign up with your preferred account or register a new one.

2. Share Your Ideas. If you have an idea or suggestion for how DoD can be more open and transparent, click on “Sign Up and Share Ideas.” It’s easy: just tell us what you think. You should title your new idea and choose a category, so it will be easy for people to find. Then, simply click “Post Idea,” and your idea will be visible on the site. Ideas submitted before March 17th will be considered for inclusion in DoD’s Open Government Plan, which will come out in April.

Share Your Ideas

Share your ideas!

3. Discuss and Vote on Ideas. Read through other posts and share your opinion about a suggestion by selecting “I Agree” or “I Disagree.” The ideas with the most positive feedback will show up under the Most Popular tab. And, here’s the great thing: DoD has a responsibility to be aware of the most popular ideas.

Discuss and vote on your favorite ideas

Discuss and vote on your favorite ideas is also a great resource for finding data sources, records and reports, and news updates related to DoD’s Open Government Plan.  Still not sure why transparency is important?  You can find news and updates about the Administration’s efforts toward making the government more accessible and accountable.

It’s not just the DoD that is now “open.”  Federal agencies across the government are participating. Check out Open Government Dashboard, which tracks agency progress and links to each agency’s Open Government webpage.

As the primary operator for DoD’s Twitter and Facebook accounts, I have a unique perspective.  I get immediate feedback on my posts, and it helps me do my job better.  That’s why I’m so excited about

What do you think?