Technology in the Political Arena

A few weeks ago, Barack Obama was sworn in as president of the United States. But that’s not the only news that has tongues wagging. People are talking about the crucial medium that helped put him there.

In today’s increasingly interconnected world, in which geographic boundaries are obviated by the ubiquitous nature of the World Wide Web, even some of the most highly ranked government officials turn to familiar, regular-people technology to get their messages across.

Take, for instance, the president himself. While he was running for office, President Obama had about 3 million Facebook supporters and managed to muster up four times as many MySpace “friends” as former Republican nominee John McCain, according to a CNN article.

Further, the president revealed the identity of his running mate, Joe Biden, to his loyal and tech-savvy supporters via text message.

After his election in November, Obama wasted no time going live with a Web site that would give the American people — or anyone in the world, for that matter — important news and updates, including a detailed agenda for the Obama administration.

The new millennium appears to have ushered in a technology platform that allows candidates to get increasingly competitive, not to mention creative.

Are the days of the Roosevelt fireside chats officially over? It seems so, as Obama appears to want to move beyond one-way communication and spur interactivity between the government and its people.

For instance, Change.gov urges visitors to


Deanna Hartley

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