Barack Obama is given tops marks for his ability to write and deliver a stirring speech. It is no small part of his political prowess. He has been compared to another Illinois native son – Abraham Lincoln for being a superb communicator. But Barack Obama may be taking this ability to listen, define and communicate to a new level. That is the argument of diverse observers from the Technology Review, NYTimes, and eWeek.
And above is the evidence that these observers may be right on the mark. First, note how fast a complete website was developed (for all Web wonks, it is primarily AJAX with jQuery and some embedded blog(s) yet to be fired up). True, much of the material is taken from Obama.com. But the what is remarkable is that Change.gov allows readers:
a)to see a copiously delineated plan of action: the Blueprint for Change is a 60 page PDF;
b)see what has made the transition from candidate (obama.com) to President-elect (change.gov).
This is unprecedented insight into the priorities and agenda for the new President. But as well there is a blog and newroom not yet activated, which presumably will allow site visitors to presumably dialog with the Administration in some fashion. It will be interesting to see how effectively this is managed because the sheer law of numbers may make the site untenable (can you imagine 600,000 comments to a posting ?). But the site is at the moment soliciting direct comment submissions from visitors. This will put Web 2.0 software to the test.
But clearly one can see President Obama using the Web as a supplement if not as an alternate to the FDR’s Radio Fireside chat. It will also be interesting to see if this Web 2.0 approach will be applied to the various Cabinet departments and Head Officers. In any case, stay tuned because already one can get more in depth insights as to what the Obama+Biden administration intends to do in greater detail than I have ever encountered before. And policies that appear on change.gov have to be assumed to be on the top of the LIFO stack as these problems get addressed in the White House and in Congress. Also stay tuned for more commentary as the features and functions of Obama Web 2.0 unfold.