Obama 2.0

The election of Barack Obama as America's next president has prompted a number of analyses of what has been described as "one of the most effective presidential campaigns that's ever been run." Now the Obama team is showing that it intends to use some of the same new internet technologies that made it "kind of the Google of politics" to reinvent the way the White House communicates with the public. The presidential inauguration committee has launched "a campaign-style social networking web site, pic2009.org." They've created another website, change.gov, to communicate with the public during the transition period until Obama takes office. And as Micah Sifry noted on Wednesday, change.gov is starting to "go interactive, intensively. ... A few hours ago, the Change.gov blog led with a post called 'Join the Discussion' and pointed readers to a video from two members of the health care transition team," which invites readers to "join the discussion" with suggestions for how the healthcare system should be changed. Already the forum has attracted thousands of comments. "Imagine what happens if those numbers -- on not just any 'centralized site' but the one that symbolically and perhaps literally has the attention of the President-elect -- start climbing into the five- and six-digits," Sifry writes. "Before our eyes, we are witnessing the beginning of a rebooting of the American political system."