One of the main distinctions that made Barack Obama’s election so noteworthy to observers was how he was able to embrace technology. Whether that was through clever advertising, smartly-placed television addresses or building an unexpected presence in video games, Obama made it clear that he was willing to tap into current societal trends in order to ensure success for America.
However, translating that technological savvy to the White House’s resources has proven difficult, as Obama’s staff has quickly figured out that their new home is not necessarily the most technologically creative place on the block.
This statement was reinforced by Bill Burton, a spokesman for Obama’s administration, who stated that the White House’s technology is “like going from an Xbox to an Atari.”
These are strong words but they do go a long way towards explaining why the Bush administration was successful in keeping items secret from the American public. Perhaps the desires of the Obama administration to boost the technological capabilities of the White House will be just another aspect of his purported promise to make this bastion of our government accessible to all.
In recalling the limitations of the White House’s technology, it was mentioned that the staffers of the Obama administration had difficulty navigating the old computers that were there, balked at the lack of laptops that were present and expressed concern at the difficulty of updating the White House’s main web site.
These situations were quickly remedied, of course, and now the new White House site is ready to go.
Let’s hope that the changes that grace Obama’s administration will be documented quickly and constantly.