If you liked this story please show your support by subscribing to the What's Leet? RSS Feed.
President Barack Obama has not only been working hard bringing some fresh ideas to the United States, he has also been created a more transparent, more easily accessible government. His campaign web site, BarackObama.com, was one of, if not, the first of its kind to connect with interested voters and allowed them to find others to support him locally. It served as a great look into the future of government connection through the Internet, and a year later, that communication has finally evolved from the stone age of technology.
When you think of the government the words “fast paced” and “young” are not what you typically hear. Historically the government has a silly, bureaucratic procedure that is long and seems to never really get through to citizens, even on important topics information can be misreported and forgotten easily. Todays government seems different, however, with its ability to keep up with technology and allow for better reporting of issues and facts and has allowed much more people to understand the way in which the government is working for us.
WhiteHouse.gov has been redesigned to allow for up-to-date and important news, not only to be read more easily but shared and can be followed on many other social networks that have sprung up since the last administration. There is an abundance of official videos from the President, including a feature called “White House Live” where videos are streamed straight from Capitol Hill each day outlining new issues and talking about how the government is planning to address them. Compare this to the last administration, only news was featured when something had actually happened. It was more of a spotlight on where the President was that week.
During the transition period where Barack Obama was sworn into the government, a new group called the Technology, Innovation and Government Reform (TIGR) was formed to overhaul the mass amounts of media and data that the administration had been archiving and create innovative, technology driven applications that would help people understand it and make it accessible. This has since been translated into the Open Government Initiative and is alternatively called eGovernment.
As evidence to this, a perfect example of the way the new government is utilizing mass data in new ways is Recovery.gov, a web site that tracks the economic recovery efforts on a multitude of levels. The web site measures up-to-date information regarding job creation, where the money was distributed and even allows you to download primary source data for interpretations. It includes many FAQs and information for tax payers to make sure they understand how the government is managing the assistance money to minimize fraud and abuse of the system. An even more robust information center has been created at Data.gov, which allows you to get unprecedented amounts of datasets ranging from the locations of active mines and mineral plants and realtime worldwide earthquake tracking, to hate crime and foreign labor statistics.
Just last week (January 19), a blog post on WhiteHouse.gov announced its new iPhone/iTouch application available for free on iTunes. It will allow its users to download current blog posts, videos and photos, and even stream live video content as it is reported from the White House. Not to leave out non-iPhone users, a mobile-accessible web site for the White House is coming in the next few weeks. When you visit mobile.whitehouse.gov, you will get a web site optimized for all other mobile devices. The blog post outlines its commitment to openness:
As part of President Obama’s commitment to an open and transparent government, the White House App makes getting all the latest news and media from the White House easier than ever. And of course, we’ll continue to look for new and emerging technologies to engage the American people and make information about the President and his administration easily available.
It is real-time government, and a step in the right direction as the Internet generation grows up and expects even more instant information than ever before. Currently, the United States is ranked number four in the UN’s e-Government Readiness Index, under Sweden, Denmark, and Norway which take the top three positions. The significance of this is that it leads the way to better information communication and delivery for people of many cultures to come together and participate in the globalization of knowledge.
Thanks For Reading!
If you liked this story, please subscribe to the up-to-the-minute What's Leet? RSS Feed.