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Out with the old, in with the YES WE CAN!

The web world is watching the transition of power from the old administration to the new Obama team with keen interest. Already we’ve seen the switch between the previous version of whitehouse.gov to the new version.

(The new version validates to W3C standards, by the way.) With this redesign comes better access to information, a more approachable design and a new Creative Commons license for it’s content.

Additionally, Kottke points out that the robots.txt file has also changed from almost 2400 disallows down to only one. That’s a serious change in transparency.

But one of the more visible examples of the shift in our government’s use of the web comes with the change in guard of TheWhiteHouse Twitter account.

Below is a screenshot illustrating the Bush team’s use of Twitter and the change to Obama’s team. Both are using it to announce key events or PR-like topics. But notice the differences in formatting – Bush’s team never made it under the 140 character limit. It’s almost as the text in the Twitter stream is grabbed from the first couple of lines of a press release. (I can’t verify this as the links are all broken now that the new whitehouse.gov site is live). After the shift, you can see Obama’s team making better use of the brevity that Twitter encourages. The messages are concise and to the point. Nothing is obscured by trailing or sentences being cut short.

This is another clear example of how the new government gets it. It’s also an indication that the brilliance that was the campaign’s use of social media will continue on into the new administration.

TheWhiteHouse Twitter page


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