This morning, the White House posted President Obama’s long form birth certificate to the public. Now that the White House has released the president’s long form birth certificate to the media (and directly over Twitter to everyone) I hope that the country can move on to the much greater issues that confront the country and humanity as a whole.
Honestly, it was much cooler to watch Mr. Obama speak live using the White House iPhone application than to see the President of the United States take time to debunk the issue that has been settled for years. His remarks are embedded below:
It’s also worth noting the evolution of the White House’s new media strategy, where a government document was not only released directly to the American people as a PDF over social networks but was uploaded to Slideshare where it can be embedded on other webpages to be spread even further, as I have done below.
The White House is not alone in using SlideShare to create embeddable documents. The Congressional Budget Office, Department of Energy, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. National Library of Medicine are sharing information there as well. The military has created channels there too, including the Department of Defense and the U.S. Navy.
To be clear, releasing documents online in of itself is not nor will ever be a full measure of government transparency. Open government is a mindset, not just a matter of adopting new tools. For open government to endure in an era of budget austerity, it will need to be baked in to how government operates, with a clear connection to how it helps deliver on the mission of agencies and officials.
That said, creating online channels with embeddable content is taking more than a few steps forward from paper memos dropped into file cabinets or proclamation read over the radio.
Here’s to moving forward to work on the stuff that matters.