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White House 2.0
May 1, 2009 8:23 PM   Subscribe

It's on Facebook. It's also on MySpace. It even has a Twitter page. The White House is in the 21st century.
posted by pyramid termite (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
YouTube, too. The MySpace page seems to just be a repeater for the official gov't site's blog.
posted by zarq at 8:37 PM on May 1, 2009


The American government is trendy! Who knew?
posted by Houyhnhnm at 8:38 PM on May 1, 2009


Also YouTube, complete with horrific comments. I personally like my charismatic leaders a bit distanced from the rabble, but we'll see how this all plays out.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oops
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 PM on May 1, 2009


It's also on Plex.

Though I don't think that was really initiated by the presidential types.
posted by paisley henosis at 8:41 PM on May 1, 2009


I've no idea. Is it " it " or 'it'? Possibly half of it. It's interesting.
posted by Mblue at 8:45 PM on May 1, 2009


I'd like to see the government create its own social networking site, where real interaction occurs between constituents and policy makers, by-passing the lobbyists entirely.
posted by stbalbach at 8:46 PM on May 1, 2009 [5 favorites]


I like the Twitter feed, but I'm most impressed with the Flickr presence as per the post a few days ago. Given Obama's campaign, though, it really shouldn't be too surprising that they are using the new media tools to get their message out.

Finding the CDC Social Media page, on the other hand, really surprised me for some reason.
posted by gemmy at 8:47 PM on May 1, 2009


Reminds me of early 1990s when newspaper reporters first started including email address. Name@aol.com for a NYT or WashPost reporter, before the paper had its own domain name. Cool, trendy. Now the newspaper industry is about underwater because of the net. I think with time government will move online and fundamentally change. It starts as "trendy", then it becomes indispensable, than conquers from within.
posted by stbalbach at 8:56 PM on May 1, 2009


It's on Flickr.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 9:02 PM on May 1, 2009 [1 favorite]


According to this FPP, the White House actually has established a presence on various social networking sites on the internet. This inspires me to research whether other heads of state also have a presence on various networking sites, with the possible goal of developing my own FPP on the subject.
posted by Slap Factory at 9:05 PM on May 1, 2009


Is this a good thing?
posted by porpoise at 9:34 PM on May 1, 2009


Is this a bad thing?
posted by Camofrog at 9:48 PM on May 1, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd like to see the government create its own social networking site, where real interaction occurs between constituents and policy makers, by-passing the lobbyists entirely.

Why would that work any better on a government-created site, as opposed to, say, Twitter or Facebook? Actually, why would that work any better online, as opposed to, say, via postal mail or phone calls?
posted by scottreynen at 9:51 PM on May 1, 2009


Social media or... socialism media ???
posted by MikeKD at 9:58 PM on May 1, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, why would that work any better online, as opposed to, say, via postal mail or phone calls?

Because, for an increasing number of people, it's getting easier and easier to use the Web than it is to write letters or make phone calls. Also, there's the whole "social" aspect of social networking. Communicating an idea to potentially millions of people via a Facebook-like page is very different from sending a single letter to your congressperson.
posted by hifiparasol at 10:06 PM on May 1, 2009


One aspect of this is that it clearly signals, yet again, the generational change that Obama has brought. As a baby-boomer I would struggle to think of such things as effortlessly as this Administration.
posted by vac2003 at 10:58 PM on May 1, 2009


Slate's in on the game, too.
posted by geronimo's folly at 11:21 PM on May 1, 2009


Wow... a MySpace page that doesn't make my eyes bleed...
posted by SAnderka at 11:51 PM on May 1, 2009


The Brits are doing this quite well, I especially like that their Twitter account actually responds to people, which the White House isn't doing yet (OK, the White House has only had 12 updates, so it's early days).
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:48 AM on May 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'd like to see the government create its own social networking site, where real interaction occurs between constituents and policy makers, by-passing the lobbyists entirely.

Have you seen the constituents? I think the last time this happened, Obama just got trolled by repeatedly being asked to Legalize It!
posted by Talanvor at 2:38 AM on May 2, 2009


That Myspace pages needs some Blingee.
posted by The Straightener at 3:13 AM on May 2, 2009


i haven't seen these other pages, but i did see the white house flickr page a few days ago. i think it's a good thing, as it allows us to see inside glimpses at the president/government (i'm sure they're HIGHLY vetted and approved, but still).

obama was all about transparency, and i think this is one way of doing it.

it was also pointed out many times here and in other places that he's the first "geek" president. so even if he wasn't the mastermind behind the wh getting a myspace and a twitter, i'm sure he at least approved it and thinks it's a cool idea.

so many people today (myself mostly included) wouldn't have much of an idea of what was going on if it weren't for the social media that the wh has embraced. sure, older generations are still going to the tv and the newspaper for their news, but younger generations and those to come are the "future" of the country and they're the ones that obama needs to reach, and this is the best way to do it.

i hope they keep it up for the duration of his term(s).
posted by misanthropicsarah at 5:06 AM on May 2, 2009


so many people today (myself mostly included) wouldn't have much of an idea of what was going on if it weren't for the social media that the wh has embraced.

Really? Fucking really?!?
posted by Cyrano at 5:36 AM on May 2, 2009


Actually, why would that work any better online, as opposed to, say, via postal mail or phone calls?

You really can't see how online messages are any more convenient than sending letters?

Wait -- why didn't you just tell us that by sending us a mass mailing through the postal service?

As for phone messages: they're ephemeral. Once the phone call is done, it's done. Online writings can stay around, you can edit yourself more, you can include links, etc.

Also, social websites invite the public to participate. The mere existence of phone numbers that people could call are much less galvanizing.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:08 AM on May 2, 2009


I especially like that their Twitter account actually responds to people, which the White House isn't doing yet (OK, the White House has only had 12 updates, so it's early days).

Not even "days." The WH Twitter feed has been around for less than 24 hours. And it's a Saturday.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:11 AM on May 2, 2009


Actually, why would that work any better online, as opposed to, say, via postal mail or phone calls?

You really can't see how online messages are any more convenient than sending letters?


No, I defintely see how it's more convenient, but the stated goal was by-passing lobbyists, and since it's also more convenient for lobbyists, so I don't see how that helps this particular goal.

The convenience also seems likely to introduce a new issue in people who wouldn't otherwise be bothered to contact their government sucking up valuable government resources simply because it's really easy. Are we going to have a new "Democracy trolling" problem?
posted by scottreynen at 6:19 AM on May 2, 2009


so many people today (myself mostly included) wouldn't have much of an idea of what was going on if it weren't for the social media that the wh has embraced.

Really? Fucking really?!?


well, no, not really, at least not probably the way you read it.

more to the point of what i meant was, the white house has a blog. so i add it to google reader, which tells me when they have an update. same with twitter and what not.

i guess in my original statement one should replace "social media" with "internet" because i get my news through various sources on the internet, not the physical newspaper or the television.
posted by misanthropicsarah at 10:03 AM on May 2, 2009


obama was all about transparency, and i think this is one way of doing it.

Nah, it's just more ways of selling all the positive things about Obama, while not mentioning the negative. It's similar to George Bush's "hey, I'm regular guy" approach, but for a different audience. This wouldn't work with every politican, but Obama is like crack, you just can't get enough, so having more avenues to get your fix can only mean great things for Obama's numbersfans, friends whatever.

This isn't necessarily bad, but just pointing out that the average citizen's idea of transparency and the President's (and more importantly his press team) idea are two different things. It's great to feel like you have a connection or know so much Obama, but never forget he's a politician also and the American sense of what a good one is has been warped by eight years of Bush.

Remember, Obama got cheers just for shutting down stuff that Bush never should have started up in the first place. It's nice that he shut it down, but that's hardly cause for celebration, that's what the President after Bush should be doing.

Call me when there's a 3am tweet from the White House saying "Fuck the Republicans and this shit, I'm going to bed" and then we can talk about transparency.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:28 PM on May 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's a feed that combines WhiteHouse.gov feeds (Blog, Press Office, and Agenda) with the feeds for the WH's Twitter, Flickr, and Youtube accounts.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:44 PM on May 2, 2009


I'm a cynic. I can't tell if their use of "2.0" is a sign that they are badly playing catchup by using stale and empty marketing language that's almost a half-decade old. Or if their use of "2.0" is meant to be ironic, in which case, they are ahead of the curve.

Alas, the sordid history of Web 2.0. From the humble beginnings as a marketing gimmick for a technology publisher, you grew into the chorus of well-intentioned and ignorant futurists who thought they invented the online community, and now like the fax machine and the wire services, you've become a channel for the mass dissemination of press releases. Good job!
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:43 PM on May 2, 2009


Or if their use of "2.0" is meant to be ironic, in which case, they are ahead of the curve.

It would seem that for the most part, they want to be their own media outlet so they can leverage squabbles with traditional media (witness Fox's recent refusal to air Obama's press conference) and also head off or divert rumors before they get notice on other channels. It is what it is, and as Brandon Blatcher mentioned ,they obviously have a team of writers and censors to ensure it stays firmly on point.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:49 PM on May 2, 2009


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