Twitter, Facebook, MySpace Coming to Obama's White House

 
 
By Nicholas Kolakowski  |  Posted 2009-05-05 Email Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Twitter, Facebook and MySpace accounts for the White House will contribute to President Obama's attempts at public engagement. Although the White House has maintained a long-running site at WhiteHouse.gov, this marks the first time that the executive branch has utilized a broad range of social-networking tools to spread its message. During his presidential campaign, Obama utilized such tools to rally supporters and spread messages.

President Obama's plans for public outreach by the executive branch reached a new level with the announcement that the White House will soon have more social-networking accounts than a 14-year-old kid, including Twitter, Facebook and MySpace pages.

In an April 25 address, President Obama suggested that, "To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative."

One of the steps toward that goal, evidently, is having the White House become the nation's friend on Facebook, followed on Twitter, and a connection on MySpace.  

The White House blog (RSS) will provide much of the content for these networks, but as a recent Twitter posting indicates, officials will be available through these social-networking tools to answer questions and take comments from the public.

In addition, the White House also plans on utilizing Flickr, Vimeo, a dedicated YouTube channel, and even iTunes to spread its message.

"There's a lot to talk about right now," said a May 1 posting on the official White House blog. "From an economic crisis to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the President and his Administration have a full plate - not the least of which is making sure the public stays up-to-date and involved in our efforts."

In keeping with that up-to-date motif, the same blog posting suggested that readers direct themselves to the Centers for Disease Control Website to learn more about the H1N1 virus, also known as "swine flu," that has incited a fair amount of panic online.

Obama's reputation as a tech-savvy president has steadily built since he took office on Jan. 20. Even before his inauguration, he promised heavy investment in computers and broadband connections for schools and hospitals, and announced plans to update and expand the country's Internet infrastructure.

On April 18, Obama nominated Aneesh Chopra as the nation's first CTO, tasked with coordinating and reforming the federal government's technology systems. Chopra's previous posting was as Virginia's secretary of technology.

 

 
 
 
 
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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