White House Joins the Blogosphere

by Steven R. Corman

Apparently one minute after Barack Obama was sworn in as President, the switch was flipped on a new whitehouse.gov website.  One interesting new feature is a blog that launched with five posts.

One of those is entitled Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov and it explains that their new media efforts will center on communication, transparency and participation.  Regarding the last item, the post says that “citizen participation will be a priority for the Administration, and the internet will play an important role in that.”

A good start on that would be to allow comments on the blog posts, which are not currently enabled.  I realize that could present a significant moderation challenge.  But effective participation means dialogue, not just providing a new way for people to dispense thoughts into the ether.  As we noted on our recent analysis of the State Department’s blog people want to feel like they’re being heard, and some of the same recommendations we made for Dipnote would serve the White House Blog well.

Meanwhile we wish the Presidential bloggers all the best, and will be scanning their posts for inclusion in COMOPS Monitor.

UPDATE January 21, 8:30 MST

I am told by reliable sources that men and women of the DoD will not be able to access the weekly video address that is to be a part of this web site via any .mil network.  Gee, these folks deserve some communication, transparency and participation too, don’t they?  Surely the Commander in Chief could arrange for an exception, or for them to get access to these addresses through some alternative channel within the .mil network.