After receiving thousands of comments through the Change.gov Web site, Obama's transition team has provided users with tips on participating in the online forums. The tips are intended "to help make our discussions clearer and more valuable," according to the blog entry .
The tips encourage users to read the comment policy, set up an account, stay on topic and to rate other comments. However, in explaining each tip, the Obama team clearly is trying to impress upon readers some rudimentary net etiquette and letting people know that social networking can be an effective governance tool -- but only if the participants are willing to play a constructive part. If not, and Change.gov devolves into a free-for-all, the potential will be lost.