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Campus Notebook: By the People

On Wednesday, Rep. Mike Honda (D-Calif.) launched the House’s first-ever Web site designed through “crowdsourcing,— where the public is able to submit designs in an open bid that resembles a free-for-all contest.

[IMGCAP(1)]In a statement, Honda said he was able to “more effectively harness constituent ideas and innovation— by allowing them to not only submit designs for a Web site but also vote on which template they thought was best. The result is a site that incorporates a variety of social media tools.

“It is my hope that this process can empower the public to collaborate with Members of Congress,— Honda said. “No longer will individuals simply petition their representatives — instead they should be our most valued advisors.—

The site — — looks similar to other Member Web sites in layout, but it also includes several ways for visitors to interact, such as RSS feeds, social media bookmarking and a live Twitter feed. Chicago resident Jane Madsen won the $1,000 contract to design the site, submitting several versions as constituents gave pointers and recommendations.

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