Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Obama Takes Control of WhiteHouse.gov...

After yesterday's inaugural address, President Obama's team officially took the reins of the presidential website, WhiteHouse.gov.

Macon Phillips is the man who holds the newly created post of "New Media Director". Basically, his enviable job is to use Obama's campaign success on Web 2.0 sites like Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter, and translate that into an effective strategic tool for official White House communications.

WhiteHouse.gov has a history going back to 1994, which makes it a senior citizen of websites. Check out its previous incarnations at The Wayback Machine. It's quite amusing how basic the site used to be, and the way in which it gradually added features - hyperlinks, photos, a search engine, RSS feeds, etc. - mirrors the evolution of the Web itself.

(circa 1996)

 



(circa 1999)

 



(circa 2009)

 



While the world joins in Obama-mania, here's one humble request that WhiteHouse.gov adds more interactivity and conversation-based features. Two of the best features on his campaign site was the section where people could leave their ideas as comments and could even vote for which questions they most wanted answered. They should be revived. If Obama's web campaign demonstrated anything, it's that there's nothing wrong with generating discussions on important issues.
  

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