1.21.2009

White House starts blog: is it enough?

It felt strange/exhilarating/preordained that when I added the feed for the White House blog to my RSS reader yesterday. Of course the Obama White House has a blog. That seems a given. Of course, the Bush White House may also have had one, but I didn't ever hear of one and was never compelled to check for myself. Politics aside, it simply didn't seem like something an administration that had such a contentious relationship with the press would think to have, never mind the ability if would afford to speak directly to the public without, in the words of Sarah Palin, the filter of the mainstream media.

But as I added the feed, I wondered what I would really gain. Will I learn anything I won't already have heard many other places by the time it hits this blog? Will it simply be propaganda? Without a comment function, and thus a chance to engage in dialogue with the populace, does it even count as a blog or is it really a press release machine? It feels like a good start, but just that -- a start. If Obama is serious about transparency and collaboration and accepting the best idea regardless of origin, then this needs to be the first of many online and interactive initiatives. The White House has caught up with the technology available when Bush took office; it shouldn't wait long to catch up with the rest of us here in 2009.

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