Wednesday, January 21, 2009

WhiteHouse.Gov: Change Has Come To America got a makeover today even before Obama was sworn in.  This makeover, undubitably, is the best thing on the Interwebs today.

Not only does the new site look sleek, but according to's Farhad Manjoo, new functions were added as well:

"The Obama site is leaner—understandably, the administration being just a few hours old—but also promises more interactivity. In the first blog post, Macon Phillips, Obama's White House director of new media, reaffirms a campaign promise—that the White House will post all nonemergency legislation to the site for five days and review all the comments that come in before the president signs or vetoes the bill. Wisely, the first blog post allows no comments—if it had, we'd have seen a mob of wiseasses posting "First!!!!" At the moment, the only way to send a note to the White House is to use this contact form.

After the election, many wondered how Obama would transform his campaign's online network into a force for pushing his policy goals. As far as I can tell, the White House Web site is not—or not yet—a social network. You can't build a profile, connect with friends, and start groups to advocate for certain positions—the functions that allowed millions of supporters to take part in his campaign. What you can do is give the site your e-mail address and ZIP code. When I did so, I got a pop-up message thanking me for my submission, and that was that. I hope they don't spam me.

The site is not without its bugs, either: A flashy slide show of past presidents fails to include anyone past Gerald Ford. In addition, the Web masters were so thorough in their attempts to erase the old site that they broke many legitimate pages. For instance, when you Google George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, FDR, or any other past president, you get now-broken links to their bios on the White House site."

(From Slate and Kottke)

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