Back in Sept. of 2008, Google launched the Google Moderator. What does Google Moderator do? When Google has tech talks or company-wide meetings, it lets anyone ask a question and then people can vote up the questions that they’d like answered.
The launch in September opened that to a larger audience and, thus, larger set of questions. Anyone can submit questions to be voted on. It also appears that you can target locations (like the state of Missouri, example) for viewers.
So, I open Moderator and see that the second question listed is, “How Can We Eliminate Wasteful Spending?” I click there and find Senator Claire McCaskill. Senator McCaskill’s question has gotten voted high enough that it’s showing up (at least on this Missourian’s page) at one of the top 5 questions.
I’m still learning about Moderator myself, but it seems that it certainly has potential to help government officials and agencies learn what questions interest the public.