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A Letter to White House Director of New Media Macon Phillips

Posted: Updated:

I read about your new role and presumed responsibilities on the new WhiteHouse.gov blog.

After observing your LinkedIn and Twitter profiles (the former which appears to be outdated and the latter for which you are protecting your updates, as marked by my subsequent request to follow), I'd like to share with you some social media strategies to consider.

I am an online media strategist working with business and government leaders to analyze, recommend, and implement best practices in social networking, interactive marketing, and online branding. Part of my daily homework involves perusing websites and blogs to capture the essence of what people think and determine how they react.

You undoubtedly know about the CNN/Facebook numbers as identified by Mashable's Pete Cashmore, the President's inclusive oratory language as captured by David Meerman Scott, and maybe you're scanning the suggestions for a chief technology officer, but are you following the blogopshere?

Are you and your team reading what bloggers are writing about the President's inauguration and exploring ways of meeting their tips for social media success?
  • Anthony Ha asks for the ability to add blog comments and that the RSS feed show full posts, not only headlines.
  • Sarah Granger awaits less static content and more participatory initiatives.
  • Bryan Yunashko suggests the technology infrastructure be improved in parallel with work on the Americans for Disabilities Act. One way is to modify the server architecture from IIS to Apache.
  • Don Reisinger pokes at five social technologies that ought to be considered, such as AOL Instant Messenger or Present.ly. While the comments indicate he may be crazy, they're worthy suggestions.
  • Mitch Joel wonders if the President will show openness by keeping his BlackBerry.
  • Jay Rosen argues the White House press corps is dead, as WhiteHouse.gov can be its own communicator.
  • Dave Winer argues the White House shouldn't blog, as there are plenty of blogs, but the site should be an inclusive public space. Dave wonders when he'll see it.
Did you read Valeria Maltoni's praise of the campaign's new media efforts to shift the mindset from medium to message?

Clearly, you're aware of the many innovations how the campaign and the inauguration used technology, right?

C.C. Chapman touches upon these ideas in this CNN iReport video about the Facebook integration and what it means for the future of new media.

In his inaugural address, the President orated:

What the cynics fail to understand is that the ground has shifted beneath them...The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works...Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

I can only speak for myself, but there are many areas where answers on the above for government technology are yesses and nos. If the 800+ blog comments added to BarackObama.com over the first 24 hours after the inaugural address are any indication of support and ideas for change, I imagine the coming weeks and months will be challenging and eye-opening ones.

Let's work together to enact change.

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