Thursday, January 22, 2009
The Obama Presidency and Technology
I ran across two articles this morning about Obama, his presidency and technology. Given the unprecedented way the Obama campaign utilized technology, particularly cell phones and the internet, I've been interested to see if they can maintain their innovative techniques once Obama officially became president. It seems it may be more difficult for them than anyone expected. The first article, "New Staff find White House in Tech Dark Ages," focuses on how out-dated the White House is in terms of technology. Given how slowly the federal government moves, I have to say I wasn't surprised to learn this. I am curious to see how the new administration adapts to these challenges; will these technology hurdles alienate the young people and technofiles that responded so positively to the campaign? The second, "President Obama gets to keep is Blackberry," interests me more in terms of archival research than anything else. I get all the security concerns and agree they are more than valid, but I can't believe these can't be addressed. My interest is in how will any messages Obama sends via email, texts, etc. be recorded for the historical record? Again, this does seem fairly easy to accomplish, but it is a concern, nonetheless. This interest extends to my concern about how all the new forms of technology will affect our ability to perform archival research in the next 100 years.