Business - Written by Denis Hancock on Monday, November 17, 2008 9:27 - 2 Comments
Obama’s Presidency: where web 2.0 and web 0.1 collide
This site (along with many others) has written extensively about how Barack Obama’s campaign leveraged a variety of web 2.0 tools in the now successful attempt to become President of the United States. As the NY Times reported on November 14th, Obama’s team is already showing signs that this technological savvy will carry forward throughout the administration – notably including broadcasts of the weekly “fireside chats” by video on YouTube. However, another story in the NY Times, published the next day, helps put this development in perspective – while Obama is getting all geared up to use YouTube, he’s also facing the prospect of having to give up his Blackberry addiction. He may also have to (uh oh!) follow George W. Bush’s lead, who three days before his inauguration sent the following message to 42 of his closest friends:
Since I do not want my private conversations looked at by those out to embarrass, the only course of action is to not correspond in cyberspace. This saddens me. I have enjoyed conversing with each of you.
In other words, he had to give up email. It’s quite an amazing contrast – while Obama’s team seeks to use the Web 2.0 to more closely connect with Americans, the leader of the party is being forced to pull back to to what I’d call Web 0.1 for his own communications. And why it’s Web 0.1 is that the major leap forward for the office, technologically speaking, may be having (for the first time) a President with a laptop computer on his desk.
One of the great questions here, which I’m sure many business leaders have and continue to face, is how this might affect Obama’s productivity. As the second article noted, Obama seldom had memorandums and briefing books printed for him – preferring to read and respond on his blackberry or laptop whenever he could find a spare moment. It’s a major work-flow shift to have to revert to printed documents, hand written notes, etc. I wonder, in a “perfect world” where security breaches were not a concern, how much more a President might get done if instead of reverting back to the old ways, he set up a wiki instead…
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