Obama asks a question on LinkedIn

I have just been on LinkedIn to check a few things including the presence of the brand new LinkedIn LION’s logo (a group of open networkers within LinkedIn) and here I see the stunning news that Barack Obama is posting a LinkedIn question to his network (I am only 3 levels remote from Senator Barack Obama).

Obama asks a question on LinkedIn


The question reads: “How can the next president better help small business and entrepreneurs thrive?” and he has already gathered 1251 questions (by the time I had posted my response there was only 1231, 20 were added in less than 1 minute!).
If this is a direct democracy effort, then I think it’s really interesting. I am not sure about what you can make out of all these varied and sometimes contradictory comments but the initiative is interesting nonetheless, similar to what Segolene Royal had done in France earlier this year in the French presidential election, only this time it is taking place on a large social network and on a larger scale. Will it prove more successful than Royal’s effort (she lost the presidency to N. Sarkozy last May)? Time will tell.
At least I had a chance to ask Senator Obama the question directly (LinkedIn allows for direct messages to be sent to the question issuer). I don’t think he will have time to respond, but I will keep you posted on this blog if he does.
*> addendum, September 24th, 2007
Below is the response I got from the Senator Obama on LinkedIn, or rather from someone in his presidential campaign office on his behalf. At least I got an answer. Now the question is, did my suggestion do anything for the progress of business initiative? and what about the response too? At the end of the day, can cyber-democracy be anything else than cyber-babble? not sure, not sure Vonnegut would have added.

Barack Obama wrote:
Thanks for participating in Barack’s question on LinkedIn Answers – we
apologize for the delay in response. We received an incredible number
of thoughtful answers, and our campaign will continue to review all of
these answers in the days ahead.
Barack is committed to helping small businesses and believes they are
at the heart of the American economy. He is committed to expanding
opportunities and easing the everyday pressures so many businesses
face by cutting their health care costs, improving access to capital,
and investing in innovation and development.
He plans to fix our health care crisis and enable more small
businesses to provide affordable care to their employees. He will
expand loan programs for small businesses and create a national
network of public-private business incubators. He also will invest in
women-owned businesses, increase minority access to capital, increase
supports for businesses in rural areas, and work to close the digital
divide that limits the growth potential of many urban and rural small
We appreciate immensely your willingness to share your insights and
suggestions on these issues and your help in achieving these goals.
For more information on Barack ideas for improving America visit:
Ryan @ Obama HQ
On 9/13/07 7:01 AM, Yann Gourvennec wrote:
Dear Senator,
I believe that the role of a President is primarily to convey confidence and convince small entrepreneurs that new ventures are possible. Small businesses and SOHO businesses are definitely in want of flexibility and also financial incentives which may help them do better business and increase their margins. I think that to an extent this is what our new President is trying to over here in France. Whether he will succeed is not guaranteed, but our hopes are tremendous and expectations very high. Traditionally, the US is seen as a very favourable business environment. Business is based on confidence, and confidence implies initiative. I would therefore concentrate all my efforts on those points.
Hope it helps and good luck in that campaign
Thanks for using LinkedIn.
Yann A. Gourvennec
Paris, France
Private Note:
Dear Senator,
Thanks for using LinkedIn, I hope that this direct democracy effort of yours is genuine and I will post an article on my blog https://visionarymarketing.com in the coming minutes.
I know it’s pretentious but should you want to join my LinkedIn network I would genuinely be honoured.
Best of luck in that ’08 race.
Kind regards
Yann A Gourvennec
Paris, France
Question Details:
How can the next president better help small business and entrepreneurs thrive?
View question – Respond to Barack Obama
LinkedIn Answers

View question
Respond to Barack Obama

So at the end of the day, Senator Obama didn’t really

Yann Gourvennec
Follow me