+1: The White House has joined Google+
+The White House joined Google+ this morning. The addition of this official government account can be reasonably described as a tipping point for the platform. This will free other federal agencies to join, if we assume that the terms and conditions that +The White House and Google lawyers worked out are transferable.
Kori Schulman, deputy director of outreach for the White House’s Office of Digital Strategy, offered some context for why the White House joined Google+ at the WhiteHouse.gov blog:
tarting today, we’re excited to announce that you can follow the White House on Google+. On day one, President Obama made clear that this Administration is committed to public engagement and participation. That’s why we launched the We the People petitioning tool and why you can find the White House on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other places around the web. These are just some of the ways that we aim to engage with Americans on the issues that matter the most — and now, we’re pleased to add Google+ to this list.
The opening update on Plus, below, also shows that Hangouts remain the “killer app” of this platform, particularly since the same video can be shared on WhiteHouse.gov, meaning that the American people don’t have to sign up for Google+ to watch. Citizens will need accounts to participate, however, just as with Facebook and Twitter, so look for both criticism of the move and a potential surge of interest from new and established users.
“Welcome to the White House on Google+! Here you’ll find news from the blog, behind-the-scenes photos and videos, plus chances to engage with administration officials. One feature we’re really excited about are Hangouts. On our Google+ page, we’ll host regular White House Hangouts with administration officials on topics ranging from the economy to technology. Some Google+ users will be invited to join the Hangout with the White House and have a conversation with policy experts. But the best part is that even if you’re not “in” the Hangout, you can watch the whole thing live on WhiteHouse.gov, on our Google+ page or on the White House YouTube channel.
To kick things off, we want to hear from you about our new page. What else would you like to see from the White House on Google+? Have a great idea for a White House Hangout or thoughts on the types of updates that are most interesting? Let us know. We look forward to hearing from you.”
Notably, the White House chose to start its presence on Plus with a question: “What else would you like to see from the White House on Google+?”
For my part, the answer is simple: to show that they’re listening and that the voices of the people matter in policy.
Earlier today, however, a mechanical engineer named Claudio Ibarra commented on a Google+ thread that he thought that the animated GIF was a “waste.”
You could spend a long day listing all of the organizations or individuals who are putting government data online, from Carl Malamud to open government activists in Brazil, Africa or Canada.
Putting a dollar value on clean water, stable markets, the quality of schooling or access to the judiciary is no easy task. Each of these elements of society, however, are to some extent related to and enabled by open government. If we think about how the fundamental democratic principles established centuries ago extend today purely […]
In an age where setting up a livestream to the Web and the rest of the networked world is as easy as holding up a smartphone and making a few taps, the United States Supreme Court appears more uniformly opposed to adding cameras in the courtroom than ever.
On January 10th, 2013, the OpenGov Hub officially launched in Washington, DC. The OpenGov Hub has similarities to incubators and accelerators, in terms of physically housing different organizations in one location, but focuses on scaling open government and building community, as opposed to scaling a startup and building a business. Samantha Power, special assistant to […]
The 2012-2013 influenza season has been a bad one, with flu reaching epidemic levels in the United States.
The Open Government Partnership (OGP) has released statistics on its first 16 months since its historic launch in New York City, collected together in the infographic embedded below. This week, Open government leaders are meeting in Chile to discuss the formal addition of Argentina to the partnership and the national plans that Latin American countries […]
The post-industrial future of journalism is already here. It’s just not evenly distributed yet. The same trends changing journalism and society have the potential to create significant social change throughout the African continent, as states moves from conditions of information scarcity to abundance. That reality was clear on my recent trip to Africa, where I […]
Social media was a bigger part of the election season of 2012 than ever before, from the enormous volume of Facebook updates and tweets to memes during the Presidential debates to public awareness of what the campaigns were doing there in popular culture. Facebook may even have booted President Obama’s vote tally.
Pollwatch, a mobile application that enabled crowdsourced poll monitoring, has launched a final version at pollwatch.us, just in time for Election Day 2012. The initial iteration of the app was conceived, developed and demonstrated at the hackathon at the 2012 Personal Democracy Forum in New York City.