The One Big Thing: White House Social Media

The One Big Thing you need to know this week is that the Obama Administration has continued their eGovernance initiatives.

In addition to the White House blog, the administration has established a White House channel on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, YouTube, Vimeo, Flickr and iTunes. Predictably enough, they’re calling it WhiteHouse 2.0.

As I’ve said before, the Adminstration’s social Web initiatives are both good policy and good politics.

Every administration has wanted to “go over the heads of the media” to communicate directly with the American people but none have had the tools at their disposal to do just that. This adminstration does and is clearly taking full advantage of those tools.

I’ve discussed the Flickr feed previously.

At YouTube, the White House offers the president’s weekly address, press briefings, video of events and remarks, and White House feature videos like this one of the President playing shoot-around with the UConn basketball team:

You’ll find the same videos at Vimeo, just higher quality.

On Facebook and MySpace, the White House posts update upon which people can comment…and they do. A lot. And not just about the topic at hand. One man on Facebook asks the president to look into a corruption complaint he’s brought against some officials in New Jersey. Good luck with that.

On MySpace, a student wants someone from the State Department to answer some questions for her class project. “Please reply as quickly as possible.” I imagine her project is due quite soon.

The White House uses Twitter strictly as a news delivery channel. Any retweets or replies come from or are directed to other government agencies. They do adopt some Twitter culture, with Friday Follows, for example.

Setting up shop at iTunes, puts White House messages on portable devices through the largest delivery vehicle of mobile content.

The Administration understands that in order to communicate effectively these days, you need to meet people where they are at. Thus the multichannel communication approach through social media.

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