For months now, I’ve been calling Obama the Social Media Candidate (and eventually President), and a number of people have raised an eyebrow wondering what I mean.
The first blog post on the new Obama administration Whitehouse.gov site answers the question.
Just like your new government, WhiteHouse.gov and the rest of the Administration’s online programs will put citizens first. Our initial new media efforts will center around three priorities:
Communication — Americans are eager for information about the state of the economy, national security and a host of other issues. This site will feature timely and in-depth content meant to keep everyone up-to-date and educated. Check out the briefing room, keep tabs on the blog (RSS feed) and take a moment to sign up for e-mail updates from the President and his administration so you can be sure to know about major announcements and decisions.
Transparency — President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and WhiteHouse.gov will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President’s executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.
Participation — President Obama started his career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he saw firsthand what people can do when they come together for a common cause. Citizen participation will be a priority for the Administration, and the internet will play an important role in that. One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.
Sound familiar? It should.
Sometimes we wonder if the echo chamber of the Social Web has any impact outside that particular bubble, and often it doesn’t. Often our own “expert” voices are doing nothing more than stirring up new ideas with little to no connection back to business goals and objectives.
But at the same time, you have to wonder whether this kind of message would be posted on one of the most significant Web sites, representing one of the most powerful global organizations if we “experts” hadn’t continue to back away on these issues for so long.
Either way, it’s a proud day all around.
Update: I was thinking about this a bit more today and started thinking about the Latin on the United States seal: “E pluribus unum“, “Out of many, one.” Perhaps the presidency has always been rooted in the principles of social media, but this is the first time in our country’s history that the dream has caught up to the reality.