[LINK] How Obama Will Use Web Technology
stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Sun Jan 25 18:54:26 AEDT 2009
How Obama Will Use Web Technology
Saturday, January 24, 2009; 2:54 AM <http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-
President Barack Obama was sworn into office this week as our nation's
44th president. Despite running into a few technical challenges in the
first few days at the White House, the Obama Administration will embrace
technology in unprecedented ways.
Led by forward thinking, web savvy technologists, President Obama's new
media team looks poised and ready to fulfill President Obama's vision of
Coincident with Mr. Obama being sworn in, the Obama Administration's new
media team assumed control of www.WhiteHouse.gov at 12:01 PM EST on
Tuesday. This is the official website of the sitting administration.
The new media team has identified three top priorities of the new
administration, communication, transparency and participation.
Let's examine how the new administration has been leveraging web
technologies to meet these priorities.
This administration's use of Google's YouTube during both the campaign
and after winning the election leverages Internet video to reach a
generation of Americans and global citizens who no longer tune in to AM
radio on a regular basis. President Obama has vowed to continue video
recording his fireside chats and publishing them via YouTube and other
video sites. With the transition of www.WhiteHouse.gov to the new
administration, for the first time ever an official White House blog came
online. You can sign up for email updates from the president. Through the
blog, Mr. Obama is the first U.S. president to have an RSS feed!
During the campaign President Obama relied heavily on Facebook, Myspace
and Twitter to build support, communicate with constituents and develop a
core audience. By far, Mr. Obama has more followers on Twitter than
anyone else (168,000). His fan page on Facebook has more than 4 million
Mr. Obama promises to run the most open, honest and transparent
administration to date. Through the Your Seat at The Table section on the
CHANGE.GOV transition site, the Obama transition team posted the minutes
of hundreds of private meetings with then President-Elect Obama.
Even all of the content on the www.CHANGE.GOV site, unless otherwise
noted, is licensed to the public at large via a Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0 License.
The Obama-Biden Transition Team used blist to disclose the names of all
donors to the transition project. Two key points of note are that the
disclosure was entirely voluntary and the tool they chose to use made the
data itself much more consumable by the mainstream public. Compared to a
plain HTML table, which is bulky, cumbersome and hard to work with, by
publishing the data via a blist widget the data can easily be sorted,
searched, filtered, downloaded, printed, emailed and even republished.
Obama Administration has been conducting bold experiments in interactive
government. The Citizen's Briefing Book, powered by Salesforce.com, has
allowed citizens to suggest topics Mr. Obama should consider upon taking
Once a topic was submitted, other visitors to the Citizen's Briefing Book
could vote the topic up or down and comment on it. Voting, ranking and
commenting are hallmark features of web social media applications.
The new Administration has brought forth a new era of honest, open,
participatory and transparent government by creatively employing web-
based software from innovative companies like Google, Facebook,
Salesforce.com and blist. We're eager to see the use of these
technologies extended to www.WhiteHouse.gov initially and from there we'd
love to see more government agencies quickly embrace web technologies to
promote communication, transparency and participation.
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