a new challenge

Working full time and going to school at night means I have time to blog at .. midnight!
And so it is midnight. Here are some of the things that have been catching my eye:

  • Whitehouse.gov has been redone, complete with a blog and RSS feed. It’s still sinking in that there is a new President in the states. To me it feels like opening a present every time I hear about something that team is up to. For now, on the second day, they’ve cut a lot of red tape, frozen Whitehouse salaries, and they’re blogging and embedding Youtube videos to boot. We are connected. Obviously that is awesome enough on its own, but some time back I was mentioning to Adam that I’d like to vote for a Victoria mayor who would be a blogger him or herself. The reason that I think this is important is that we’re in a day and age where folks don’t have a lot of time, and are using media in a different way. As such, it makes a lot of sense to move folks in a position of leadership into a accessible arenas, appropriate for the era they are operating in. Give this a couple years and I think we’ll see a lot of levels of government adapt this. If it was too edgy before, it can’t possibly be perceived that way anymore.
  • Comparing the Fine Print at the White House and PMO Websites – Here Michael Geist compares the terms of use between the new Whitehouse.gov site and Canada’s Office of the Prime Minister site. Canada has some straight up whack policy on the PMO site. Our government should have a responsibility to make information as accessible as it needs to be, as it is relevant to everyone in Canada. Multiple-copy prohibition is really stupid! If you are in the position of doling out the law, you must not put limits on how many people can learn about it at a time.
  • CSC Projects Itself – Speaking of the Whitehouse relaunching, here we see a strong rebranding campaign. I really like how they had the foresight to extend this into their visual design language.

It certainly is an interesting time. Hopefully we have a government soon, because Obama’s first trip planned is to Canada. It would be somewhat embarrassing if it was revealed that no one is actually running our country, wouldn’t you say?

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  1. Great thoughts, Davin – I too baulk at the lack of transparency at all levels of Canadian government, and if we could start with City Hall, that would at least be something. Just try finding out as per City Hall’s website when the various (public) committees actually meet and what their agenda items are, and don’t hold your breath waiting for the meeting minutes of Committee of the Whole sessions to be posted – it can take weeks and weeks. When they are posted, it’s in PDF, not the friendliest format (imo).
    The usual response to complaints is “we don’t have the staff (i.e., resources),” but basically they (politicians, staff) also would never consider crowdsourcing or letting bloggers get the info out. It all has to be massaged or vetted, which is kind of crazy since the information is (should be) public.
    Love your closing comment, hehe…

  2. i love the new whitehouse website, if nothing else for its symbolism. this administration seems to kind of “get it” when it comes to transparency and understanding the times. and with some of the actions that they took on day one, frankly i am a little blown away – could it be that the talk has translated into action? they have a long way to go, but so far i am impressed. and of course harper and the boys follow the line of thinking that the bush admin did – if nothing else, i think they could be shamed into thinking differently, with our neighbours suddenly taking a turn.
    did you know that obama took steps on his first day to curtail his OWN powers? he reversed a lot of things that bush did that had enhanced executive authority to a totally unconstitutional degree. i really didn’t think any leader would come in and give up the additional power that bush had so unfairly taken.
    ok, i rant, sorry. but i am a little excited. he’s still a politician, and still got a long way to go to earn my trust!
    i like the CSC brand elements. seems to be a big thing these days: create a logo that gets a “meh” response, but an overall brand rollout that is very cool. i think the ultimate example of this is London 2012.

  3. Wow, the new White House website is excellent! Nice catch!
    I agree, I’m not sure why they would limit people being able to learn about the law. Why?
    Sorry to hear about your limited time lately 🙁 I hope you can find some spare time for yourself, even without blogging 🙂

  4. Yule: Sounds like City Hall needs a basic Content Management System that can handle their needs. PDF is great for printing but aren’t we trying to get away from dead-tree resources? I agree, the information absolutely should be public. Why not let us do the vetting?
    Keith: The symbolism is important, and certainly the changes we’re already learning through the whitehouse.gov blog is more transparency than I felt from 8 years of the previous administration. I share your excitement.
    Allie: I made some time for myself this weekend inadvertently. Sometimes you just have to put the books down and relax, and that’s what I did.

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