Wael Ghonim, the Google executive who had an important role in Egypt's recent uprising, has used a product of his company to help sketch out the direction of the country's future. Ghonim has started a Google Moderator page for Egypt.
Entitled, "Egypt 2.0, what does we need? What are our dreams?!" the page has 35,000 users so far. Together, they have listed more than 45,300 ideas.
Contributors talk about a number of types of things. What was wrong with the way Egypt was run in the past? What do they hope for a future Egypt? How should the country best fight corruption? What's needful for rebuilding?
The most popular ideas float to the top of the page.
"Many popular ideas stress eduction, as they believe that the education of young kids is the most important investment to the future of the country. Another user believes that an urgent committee should be organized to develop the educational systems, and also says that the state should increase their public spending on the education.
Others discuss the voting system; one user believe that it should be computerized. He adds that the voter should be able to cast his vote using their IDs. (The current system requires a special electoral card.)
Another user believes that the health system should be completely renovated. S/he adds, 'the public hospitals should be cleaner, and they should care about the patient and the sterilization procedures.'"
This really is ground-breaking, grass roots organization, expressed in the context of the social web.
Ghonim created the Facebook page that planned the initial protests in Egypt, We are all Khaled Said. He was imprisoned for twelve days during the protests and, when released, became a high-profile rallying point for renewed demonstrations. He remains very high profile. Despite dismissing excessive focus on his role in the uprising, Ghonim inevitably has become a target for those who either resent the focus on him or who hate the uprising itself.
Special thanks to Ahmed Zidan.
Other sources: Katie Jacobs Stanton