Could Obama Mean Drastic Change for Social Media and Technology in Government?

With our new president-elect being heralded by the TV networks, could this mean a drastic shift in the way that technology is used in government?  We are seeing the end of an era:

Nov. 4, 2008, is a historic day because it marks the end of an economic era, a political era and a generational era all at once.

Economically, it marks the end of the Long Boom, which began in 1983. Politically, it probably marks the end of conservative dominance, which began in 1980. Generationally, it marks the end of baby boomer supremacy, which began in 1968. For the past 16 years, baby boomers, who were formed by the tumult of the 1960s, occupied the White House. By Tuesday night, if the polls are to be believed, a member of a new generation will become president-elect.

So today is not only a pivot, but a confluence of pivots.

— David Brooks, “A Date with Scarcity“, New York Times, November 3, 2008

Could this also mark a new beginning in the realization of technology usage in public government?  Obama’s grassroots campaign coordinated using the Internet, and it would be a significant oversight to lose that element of his work.  From Twitter to Facebook to his own web site, he utilized the tools of the 21st century to mobilize a huge following that pushed him to a landslide.

What if that following demanded accountability through social media?  What if Obama continued to tweet on the issue that he was considering, that mattered to the nation?  What if the grassroots movement he started was applied to the White House web site?  What if the change he promised continued to be a grassroots effort, with him taking the role of a peer who considers all angles, rather than one of Commander in Chief, whose decisions are final?  Obama has recognized the power of my generation – the “Net Generation” or the “Digital Generation”, whatever you choose to call us.  What if he continued to leverage that power?

What change could he achieve then?

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