There is change in the air in America – and it smells fresh and new. As President Obama was giving his inaugural speech yesterday and taking over the office of the Commander-in-Chief, a switch was flipped on www.whitehouse.gov. This site got a makeover that includes a new blog. With a focus on transparency, the new administration is posting all non-emergency legislation on this site so that the public can read it and comment before the President signs it.
Last year, I attended a social media conference where Bev Godwin, Director of USA.gov spoke. It’s not as though President Obama is introducing the Federal Government to Web 2.0, there has been movement towards a more transparent and interactive approach online for quite some time. The Department of Defense, Homeland Security, U.S. Army and U.S. Air Force are all active and interactive online. At the conference, Ms. Godwin spoke about the opportunity that social media presents in reaching out and creating authentic conversations that provide value for everyone involved, not just the politicians.
Now, with a leader who really “gets it,” it will be very interesting to see what happens when social media is embraced from the highest office in the U.S. and what kind of change will be created by embracing and increasing this kind of two-way communication.