Obama offers transparency, citizen participation through the Web

by David McRaney - contact

WASHINGTON D.C. (wdam) - The Obama administration has made a bold commitment to government transparency and citizen participation through the new White House Web site.

White House officials have promised the new www.whitehouse.gov will offer a variety of ways to not only keep tabs on the new administration, but also offer citizens the opportunity to have their voices heard.

As Director of New Media for the White House, Macon Phillips explained this week the site "will serve as a place for the President and his administration to connect with the rest of the nation and the world." Phillips added the new administration will use the new Web site for communication, transparency and participation.

Within minutes of taking the oath of office, the site removed explanations of President George W. Bush's policies, replacing them with the detailed plans of Obama concerning topics like education, poverty, energy and rural initiatives.

The site also features a blog, slideshows, explanations of executive orders and updates on the new agenda.

The administration has promised to post all non-emergency legislation on the site for public review before Obama signs spending bills and other legislation into law. Also, the site will offer a Citizens's Briefing Book, which will mirror the briefing book Obama will receive each afternoon from his advisors.

Each week, Obama promises to deliver a digital fireside chat both through the site and on his official YouTube page. Obama has already delivered 10 such videos addresses, and those videos are the first YouTube is allowing users to download legally.

Before Obama took office, his transition team operated through www.change.gov, but that site now redirects visitors to the new site, marking the first digital transition of power in American history.