Presidential Blog:

Right after election day, Barack Obama has started the first presidential blog on

Depending on how his team has to adapt their Internet strategy , this will have tremendous impact on transparency and accountability in government. His Web 2.0 teams might decide at some point, that it is better to take down some of the blog posts – as opinions are changing or opposing events/decisions occur.

In our “Connecting to Congress” NSF project we found that Members of Congress for example take down their press releases after 10 days. Blogs are a different technology and won’t make it easy to “change” information: other than the content of static websites, blogs are syndicated and posts are distributed to potentially millions of readers (and I would like to predict that is what will happen with this presidential blog).

One characteristic of Obama’s blog is that it doesn’t allow true bi-directional interaction with his readers: the commenting function is omitted. I have seen that on several federal blogs before – one prominent example is the Blog of the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (Comments are scanned before they are released – at the moment 0 comments).

About Ines Mergel

I am Full Professor of Public Administration at the Department of Politics and Public Administration at University of Konstanz, Germany. Previously, I served as Assistant and then Associate Professor (with tenure) at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, NY. In my research, I focus on informal social networks in the public sector and the adoption and diffusion of digital service innovations in government organizations. I teach classes on social media management, digital government, public management, and social network analysis.

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