Friday, November 07, 2008

Obama uses the Internet after the election

This New York Times article describes the role of the Internet in the presidential campaign. As we saw earlier, both candidates used the Internet for fund raising, mobilizing and organizing volunteers, videos of speeches, etc.

Now Barack Obama is using the Internet in the government transition process, see change.gov. The change.gov blog will inform the public of upcoming events, appointments, and other news during the transition. There are also descriptions of the administration agenda in 25 policy areas.

But they want the site to be more than a one-way broadcast of their message. We have discussed structured means of soliciting user input, and they have taken a step in that direction by allowing the public to "tell us your story in your own words about what this campaign and this election means to you" or "share your vision for what America can be, where President-Elect Obama should lead this country."

You can also apply for "non-career" jobs in the administration. Some of those are in high positions, requiring Senate approval.

The current site is clearly just a start. Links to the "Obama National Service Plan" and "Find a way to serve" are still under construction, and when you complete the job application form, you receive an email saying they will get back to you with a more detailed application in a few days. There is plenty of room for the site to improve, and I am confident that it will.

It seems that President Elect Obama is using the Internet to reiterate President Kennedy's admonition that you ask yourself what you can do for your country.

Can the Internet facilitate government "by the people?" Would you consider applying for a job in the new administration? Have you a story or suggestion you would like to share with them?