Tuesday, 20 January 2009

New White House Website

In the last hour or so the White House website has been refreshed as Barack Obama took oath as 44th President of the United States. From the viewpoint of myself as both a techie, and a big supporter of open & transparent government, this website and some of Obama's intentions are highly promising. Obviously enough, the site is at www.whitehouse.gov - go and have a look!

This is clearly a 21st century webpage - blog - yep, video - yep, photo gallery - yep - of course these are sparsely populated as yet but all present and correct, with separate RSS feeds for the various content streams. Wonderful, and added to my Google Reader. Overall it's a nice website design too - clean and sophisticated.

Perhaps more important than the technological bells and whistles is the motivation and driving ethos behind the website. As spelled out in this new blog post, the incoming administration wants to improve communication, transparency and participation between the people and government - not exactly news to those who followed Obama's campaign, but welcome nonetheless. I was particularly taken by the pledge to publish non-emergency legislation for public review - although of course this doesn't give the public any authority over legislation, it's an interesting development to say the least.

There's probably plenty more to discover, but for now I'll just finish with what's on Obama's agenda for technology. Network neutrality? He's a fan. Online privacy? Again, sounds like he's firmly in support. Finally - a President who seems to get this stuff. About time!

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