August 26, 2009 By Matt Williams
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is trying to convert the collective intelligence of Twitter users into real-life ideas that would help the revenue-starved state.
Schwarzenegger announced this week the launch of Myidea4ca.com, a Web site that indexes ideas for California's state government submitted via Twitter. The governor is asking people to "tweet" their ideas with the hashtag identifier #myidea4ca.
During a conversation Wednesday at Twitter's headquarters with company founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone, Schwarzenegger said Twitter has "tremendous power and insight." He said the idea came from a Twitter user that he should autograph some state-owned cars and bicycles for sale at the Great California Garage Sale on Aug. 28 and Aug. 29. The governor said the Twitter-generated ideas also could be used for issues like solving the state's water woes.
"Even in bodybuilding, I was always interested in what people want," Schwarzenegger said. The governor is a frequent tweeter. He has nearly 1 million Twitter followers.
Myidea4ca.com scoops up tweets tagged with #myidea4ca, and people can then give a thumbs up or thumbs down to each idea -- a function that's commonplace on social bookmarking Web sites like Digg and Delicious. Users also can submit comments about the ideas, which are searchable by keyword, Twitter username, category, most popular, most commented and most recent.
Early results suggest that the public's most popular idea is legalizing and taxing the sale of marijuana, a possibility Schwarzenegger himself floated earlier this year as state legislators struggled to close a multibillion-dollar budget deficit.
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