It’s not difficult to see just how important social media was to the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. He had a long list of social media touch points, including:
- His official blog.
- His mass of Facebook and MySpace friends.
- Twitter followers.
- His Flickr photos and YouTube videos.
- His excellent online reputation and his attempts to fight vicious rumors.
Now the question being asked is; can, and will, Barack Obama continue with his social media efforts, when he assumes the office of President of the United States? Will the transparency continue?
Early signs suggest that our next Commander-in-Chief will remain entrenched in social media. The launch of Change.gov demonstrates his attempt to bring democracy kicking and screaming into the Web 2.0 age. Not only does the site have a blog–and profiles of Obama and Biden–but you can see Obama’s agenda as President, share your vision for America, and even apply for a job at the White House!
Many elected officials abandoned their campaign initiatives the moment the election is over–when did you last see a TV ad thanking you for your vote?–but Obama appears to at least be making an attempt to continue his effort.
The big question is, can the President of the United States be allowed to be so open and transparent? Is it in our best interests for Obama to share his agenda, thoughts, and even travel plans with the world? How would it look?
That’s where I see there being the biggest stumbling block for President-elect Obama and why I believe we will ultimately see his social media efforts become two, one-way monologs. What do I mean by this? Obama will use social media (selectively) to talk to the people and we will, in turn, use social media to send Obama our thoughts and input. But a true, social media conversation? I wouldn’t hold my breath.