Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ready to Launch

Watch the Inauguration live, on Ustream (below):

All politics is personal: that's been the claim of the Obama social media team from the start of their man's bid for the White House. "No president has ever entered office with an organized social movement at his side, with the ability to reach millions of his supporters instantaneously and in as targeted a way as he wants," says Micah L. Sifry of techPresident, whose site was founded to cover the fledgling use of Web 2.0 technology in politics. "Nor have we ever been as networked to each other, with the ability to connect laterally by our own interests as we are today."

It will be fascinating, then, to watch how the nation's first wired presidency uses social media to shape policy and target public discourse. How well the Obama Administration uses social media will largely influence how these new Web tools will be used throughout society, in advocacy to commerce to education. We here at Cause Global will be keeping tabs on some of the key issues over transparency and social capital that will arise from this grand new experiment in the coming weeks and months.

For starters, here are some recent issues already on the radar:

*For the buzz over a new partnership between the new Congress and YouTube, check out this piece on nextgov

*Click here to see a video introducing people to the new administration's Technology Innovation and Government Reform group. Jump into the discussion about the group's mission in The Open House Project Google group here.

* How much transparency can work in politics? Check out this piece from earlier this week in the National Journal. And, if you haven't seen it yet, check out the new platform—whitehouse.gov, unveiled after Barack Obama officially took over as President of the United States at noon today. Propaganda? Transparency? One of the boldest experiments in citizen engagement of our time, or one of the most sophisticated public relations machines in history? Let's watch and see, together.

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