A startup in the U.K. called Yoosk has created a space for regular folks to ask public figures questions. Tim Hood, co-founder, says in an email:
Yoosk users will submit and then vote on the best questions which will be ranked according to their popularity. We will take the most popular questions and send them to the public figures being asked and request an answer on behalf of our members. The answers we receive will be posted on the site in a similar format to an online tabloid magazine and then members will be able to rate these answers according to whether they actually answer the question and whether or not they think the answer is truthful and sincere.
This is starting to become a trend, and it’s a good one. Another noteworthy effort is PrezConference on YouTube, where several presidential candidates have already answered citizens’ questions.
Yoosk is taking a page from Digg and Newsvine (and other such sites) in its approach, ranking by popularity the questions being asked. This will surely be gamed (see the previous posting), but it’s a good start.