Guest article! The second in the past couple of weeks, too — a welcome development. In this piece, longtime friend-of-e.politics Joe Flood looks in detail at the kind of obstacles that currently frustrate federal government agencies when they try to use the social web. With Obama in office, is generational change ahead? Or will bureaucratic obstructionism win the day? This article originally appeared on JoeFlood.com, where a solid discussion has already built up around it. – cpd
Will Obama Empower Government 2.0?
By Joe Flood
There’s a really interesting article in the New York Times on how Obama tapped the power of social networks to fuel his run for the presidency. Here’s the nut graph:
Like a lot of Web innovators, the Obama campaign did not invent anything completely new. Instead, by bolting together social networking applications under the banner of a movement, they created an unforeseen force to raise money, organize locally, fight smear campaigns and get out the vote that helped them topple the Clinton machine and then John McCain and the Republicans.
Obama’s use of Facebook, Twitter, Meetup and other tools is well-known. By successfully using these tools, he’s created an online mass movement and a personal brand. The challenge he faces now is to implement his ideas across a federal government frequently mired in outdated policies and procedures. While both the McCain and Obama campaigns used every online tool available to them, the federal government is filled with restrictions on Web 2.0 technology, due to privacy regulations, Congressional intervention and IT security concerns. For example: