June 3rd, 2010
08:46 AM ET
5 years ago

Social media CEOs give Congress advice

Gary Vaynerchuck has a simple message to congress: allow technology to make our lives better.
Gary Vaynerchuck has a simple message to congress: allow technology to make our lives better.

New York (CNN) - Gary Vaynerchuck sells wine online, is the co-founder of the social media agency VaynerMedia, and has a simple message to congress: allow technology to make our lives better.

During an interview with CNN this week, Vaynerchuck urged Congress to open up as much data as possible to let entrepreneurs harness the information for good purposes. However, he believes that those in Congress need to first be better educated themselves about emerging media technologies, saying that most senators and representatives don't even understand how to really use Facebook or Twitter.

"It makes me scared," Vaynerchuck said. "This is the biggest culture shift in our lives since the printing press. I would pray that these politicians have an 'expert' on staff."

An "expert," Vaynerchuck made clear, does not mean just someone under the age of 25, but a staffer who understands the complex issues of these new technologies.

Many of those technologies and ideas were discussed last week at the Gov 2.0 Expo in Washington, which brought together numerous private and public groups to discuss how government is using transformative technologies and fostering innovation.

O'Reilly Media CEO and founder Tim O'Reilly, who co-produced the Expo, said he believes Congress is serving as a major roadblock in allowing government agencies to become more tech savvy.

"Congress is the problem," said O'Reilly responding to a CNN question about the advancement of technology – including social media networks, cloud computing, and open data – making government more transparent and efficient.

O'Reilly believes government is making more and more laws that are too detail oriented when it comes to technology. He would prefer Congress to apply platform thinking to technology issues, where lawmakers lay the basic groundwork from which technologists can build. This model is similar to Apple building the iPhone with only a few applications and allowing people to build thousands of their own apps.

"We have lost our way in the amount of detailed specification that Congress does with virtually everything," he believes.

These ideas are bipartisan for both social media executives.

"Even though the open government initiative is seen as an Obama administration initiative, it is really important to understand that all this stuff is incredibly consistent with the Republican vision of how government and the market place should work together," O'Reilly said.


Filed under: Congress • Social Media
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. mike

    every time a company comes out and says that if they they do this or
    do that it seems to me its headed for trouble as we seen before look
    at the toys ,dog food, food,dry wall,coal, oil and the drug companies that
    have done business with no government oversight and the end result
    people and animals were killed and now look at our gulf coast we
    need to stop being conned in to every salesman that wants to sell us
    a bag of crap for a quick profit

    June 3, 2010 09:15 am at 9:15 am |
  2. GL

    Republicans so stuck in the 50ies it not even funny. Most of all Congressmembers way to old and it is time for them to go.

    June 3, 2010 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  3. Needs

    The leaders of congress need eduction on a lot of things, namely what their constituents want them to do. They have proven it doesn't take much to be a congressional leader, just a good line of BS.

    June 3, 2010 09:25 am at 9:25 am |
  4. GL

    O'Reilly Media CEO and founder Tim O'Reilly, who co-produced the Expo, said he believes Congress is serving as a major roadblock in allowing government agencies to become more tech savvy.
    -------------------------------------
    Tim O'reilly please talk straight with the Republicans they are the reason government agencies are not more tech savvy. Repulicans believe govenment is to big and evil, but the all seem to want to work for the govenment. Republicans only want to work for the goverhment to destory the governerment and take all power from Government and give it all to BIG Corporation – like BP with OUT HOLDING THESE BIG COPORATION ACCOUNTABLE for their failures. Deregularalion of the Banks and the Oil company have cost the America big time.

    June 3, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  5. Brice

    Have McCain learned how to type with his fingers on a keyboard? Scared of mice?

    June 3, 2010 09:37 am at 9:37 am |
  6. Angus McDugan

    OMG! We are already bombarded with extremely targeted messages from politicians. We don't need to give them any more advice on how to lead the American public around by the nose.

    June 3, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  7. Anonymous

    while there may be good that can come from these social networks, I see a lot of wasted time reading posts, telling popel you're bored at work and playing games.
    The good they can do is being over shadowed by th users laziness.
    We have stopped making phone calls. We have stopped meeting poepl in prosn in social settings. and all this is a negative in society, not the positive this man claims.

    June 3, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  8. curious steve, boston, ma

    why would the elites open up the real data to the masses? because they want a revolution against them?

    June 3, 2010 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    those in Congress need to first be better educated themselves about emerging media technologies, saying that most senators and representatives don't even understand how to really use Facebook or Twitter
    -------------------------------–

    Yup! Case in point: George W. Bush.

    "Duuuh, what does this little button do?".

    June 3, 2010 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  10. Hows that oil slick coming along Rush?

    It will mark the end of facebook when they takeover.Im closing my acct.

    June 3, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |