Our non-profit AskThem project was fortunate to develop free question-asking widgets with the Knight Foundation Prototype Fund.
We had the goal of enabling visitors to ask a question through to AskThem from any participating web page, while staying on that web page. After rounds of digital-media research and user testing, we found that many users sought to ask questions to the authors of articles and celebrities mentioned in posts (often more so than their own elected officials).
The first is a Person widget - see example - where the creator of the widget selects a specific question target: any elected official in our database, or any non-private Twitter account (does not need to be Twitter-verified with a blue check). The visitor can click through and ask her own question, or edit a pre-written default question set by the widget creator. Resulting questions also go through to the AskThem.io site for social sharing.
The second is an Address widget - see example - where a visitor enters her ZIP code or full street address, then sees her elected officials: definitely federal, almost always state, and sometimes city-level (depending on full address info).
Goal is to enhance the design of the widget windows themselves- open to input, some starting points:
Help our open-source, public-benefit project with some volunteer design time? Your work could be used on major media sites for Q&A with Presidential candidates, participating city council offices, and more public figures such as the blog of Chris Hayes on MSNBC. Email me, david at ppolitics dot org, or ping me on Skype, handle is davidmooreppf, or on Freenode in IRC, where I hang out in #opengovernment. Questions & more specific design notes welcome, thanks for considering our good-questions project.