Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Change Comes Quickly to WhiteHouse.gov

At noon EST on January 20th, change came not just to America, but to WhiteHouse.gov. Under the Constitution, President-elect Barack Obama became president at 12 noon EST, even though he had not formally been sworn in; the inaugural ceremonies were running behind schedule.

At the same time, Change.gov, the Obama transition team's website has been shuttered.

The new White House site even has a blog, showing once again Barack Obama's ability to embrace new technologies and use it for communication, organization, and be inclusive of the citizens of the U.S.

The first blog post is about how the openness that Obama had promised to foster once he entered the White House.

It lists three priorities:
Communication -- Americans are eager for information about the state of the economy, national security and a host of other issues. This site will feature timely and in-depth content meant to keep everyone up-to-date and educated.Check out the briefing room, keep tabs on the blog (RSS feed) and take a moment to sign up for e-mail updates from the President and his administration so you can be sure to know about major announcements and decisions.

Transparency -- President Obama has committed to making his administration the most open and transparent in history, and WhiteHouse.gov will play a major role in delivering on that promise. The President's executive orders and proclamations will be published for everyone to review, and that’s just the beginning of our efforts to provide a window for all Americans into the business of the government. You can also learn about some of the senior leadership in the new administration and about the President’s policy priorities.

Participation -- President Obama started his career as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago, where he saw firsthand what people can do when they come together for a common cause. Citizen participation will be a priority for the Administration, and the internet will play an important role in that. One significant addition to WhiteHouse.gov reflects a campaign promise from the President: we will publish all non-emergency legislation to the website for five days, and allow the public to review and comment before the President signs it.
They have a suggestion form up on their site as well; my first suggestion would to either restart the Citizen's Briefing Book from Change.gov or to give us the results of that experiment.

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