Obama is officially the first YouTube president—you know, if you doubted it for some reason with 1800 videos uploaded and over 110 million views. He will be the first president to post videos of his weekly fireside coffee talks on YouTube in addition to the traditional radio format, which goes back to FDR, who used the medium to directly address the nation as he steered it through the Depression and WWII. Indeed, some pundits are calling the Obama administration's use of the web the "internet-era" version of FDR's fireside chats.
Policy experts, future Cabinet officials and senior members of the transition team will be holding Q&As and video interviews at Change.gov, in addition to Obama's weekly YouTube addresses. Is it a stretch to say that the way the Obama administration says it'll use the internet might be the most significant step forward in communicating with the public since the fireside chats started? Maybe. I mean, presidents have never used TV constantly or particularly consistently to do so. But it could also be a huge failure.
Yeah, much of what the Obama administration puts out will be PR and spin—that's what all politicians do, and I don't see how it will be much different in that regard. But still, this shift to the internet seems like it could be a leap forward in accessibility. The potential is there, and it won't be much harder to be more transparent than the current administration, at any rate. If nothing else, maybe people under 40 might actually listen to the president's weekly addresses for a change. At least until we get bored and go watch South Park or YouPorn. [Washington Post]