I’m sort of on a high right now because a question that I had submitted to Digg’s new Dialogg feature was posed to Speaker Pelosi at the Democratic Convention in Denver just a few hours ago. Digg’s CEO asks my question around 14:40 in when you watch the video. The Dialogg isn’t exactly a new idea, but the fact that Web 2.0 phenom Digg is doing it gives it a little credence. The basic idea is that users submit questions, then rate them (fittingly democratically) up or down so that they can be answered by the interviewee afterwards.
It’s a great idea and a great first try, but it didn’t really work out. There’s a great number of reasons, but I’ll list the three main reasons that make me feel that it didn’t work.
1. Jay didn’t keep Pelosi on topic. And he also showed no on-camera skill. He simply asked the question, willingly let her dodge it, and sat there and smiled and nodded as she rambled on as if she was answering a completely different question. I understand this is likely because he wanted the question and intent to be solely laid upon the user asking the question, but not at least following up or calling her on any of her dodging sort of made asking the original question useless. She barely really answered any of the questions and instead continued the scripted rhetoric that the Convention has already been following. While the questions were tough, the answers weren’t anything new. I think that next time some more appropriate Revision 3 talent should do the interviewing. The obvious first pick is Kevin or Alex from Diggnation, but may I be bold enough to suggest Martin from Web Drifter / Internet Superstar?
2. Not all the top questions were asked. While Jay did a great job of asking the true top questions, he skips around towards the end with no explanation as to why he was doing this. I’d have been glad for my question to have been skipped so that the impeachment question could have posed. But it wasn’t. And we’ll likely not know why that decision was made. And we know that part of the reason is that so the iReport video question could be asked.
3. My question was totally decontextualized. I had prefaced it with opinion on the unwillingness of the current Democratic congress to negate the controversial actions of the previous Republican congress, but this context was lost when only the last section of my question was asked. Why ask it at all? I’d have totally understood taking out the Jon Stewart line, but it would have only taken around ten seconds more to present the entire argument I’d presented. Giving her that sort of open ended question without that preface gave her the opportunity to take up nearly half of the allotted time with useless and ambiguous rhetoric. I honestly feel guilty now having asked the question, but I have to remind myself that it isn’t fully my fault since my whole question wasn’t presented.
Again, this is a wonderful idea and this was great for a first try. But there needs to be some serious lessons learned for future attempts in order for it to be worthwhile and successful.