February 10th, 2009

Liveblogging from the White House

by sage island

When President Obama took office on January 20, he ushered in a new era in the White House — a new media era including an updated interactive website and the first ever White House blog.

Despite the fact that the President’s campaign staff was smart with social media throughout the campaign, I was still a little skeptical about how the new administration would utilize social media methods — particularly the blog. Would it end up being a glorified PR page with nothing but press releases and no real social engagement?

Today they proved me wrong with the nation’s first ever official White House liveblog of President Obama’s town hall meeting in Ft. Myers, FL. The up-to-the-minute updates included quotes from the speech, snippets of conversation between the President and the crowd, and links to other pertinent information.

The White House liveblog has taken ordinary PR one step further to real interaction and engagement. Citizens who couldn’t be at the townhall meeting could experience official live updates directly from the administration.

I’d still rather get my news from a trusted, unbiased news source (The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal were also liveblogging the events yesterday and today as well as a countless other independent political and news bloggers), but it’s still nice to see the administration utilizing social media to its full potential to interact with the American public.