Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Barack Obama goes digital

President Barack Obama is a president of firsts:  he is the first African-American president, but he is also the first digital president.

An initiative of Obama has been to bring the presidency to the digital age.  Obama is going to be the first president whose term will be viewed in HD.  He is also the first president who will bring a laptop to the oval office-which he plans to use.  Already, he is the first American president to have a blog.  

And although he was not the first president or politician to use the Internet to draw support and donations, he has been by far the most successful.  His website www.barackobama.com helped him amass over 500 million dollars in online donations during his campaign.  He also has an e-mail list with over 13 million addresses, and sent out over 7000 text messages during his campaign.  That number can only be topped by a teenager in CA.  

But back to the firsts.  Obama wants to be the first president to have a blackberry and to maintain an e-mail address.  The secret service is against this because of the security concerns.  Evidently the useful GPS technology in the blackberry make it easier for hackers or other potential threatening people to locate and target the president.  Also, the courts can subpoena or potentially make Obama's correspondence public-which could create other security issues or create potential embarrassments (What?!  The president uses smiley face emoticons when e-mailing Russia?!?!  J/K).

The Internet and digital era has eased the lives of many, creating useful communication tools and other organizational tools that I personally could not function without.  So I applaud a president who want to do everything he can and to use every tool available to help him do the best job possible.

Whether Obama gets to keep his blackberry or not, I welcome and am proud of our president who is determined to move forward with progress-both culturally and digitally

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