WhiteHouse.gov Turns the Page
Updated 4:03 p.m.
By Jose Antonio Vargas and Sarah Cohen
For the second time in American history, the president's online portal switched owners.
Gone are the photographs of former president George W. Bush, which were posted until noon today. At 12:01 p.m. -- the exact moment the government officially changed hands -- WhiteHouse.gov began to serve the online vision and agenda of President Obama.
According to the site's first blog post, written by Macon Phillips, a veteran of Obama's campaign and now the White House's new media director, WhiteHouse.gov "will serve as a place for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world."
The top three priorities of the site, Phillips wrote, are "communication," "transparency" and "participation" -- buzz words in online social networking circles. Visually, the site is a close cousin of campaign-era BarackObama.com and presidential transition portal Change.gov. And just as Obama used YouTube during his 21-month campaign and nearly three-month transition, so will WhiteHouse.gov. The site added a YouTube channel shortly after Obama took office.
"By bringing the White House on to YouTube just moments after the inauguration, the Obama administration has demonstrated a commitment to a transparent government that connects directly with citizens," said Steve Grove, YouTube's head of news and politics.
Among other new features, WhiteHouse.gov now makes this pledge: it will post all non-emergency legislation online for five days, allowing the public to review and comment on proposed laws before Obama signs them.
Here's what the site looked like before noon:
And after 12:01 p.m:
Web Politics Editor
January 20, 2009; 12:24 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , Barack Obama , New Media
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