As of Tuesday, November 4, the American people have spoken. Barack Hussein Obama is the President-elect, and will be inaugurated on January 20, 2009. It’s such a hard thought to cope with, because it seems so unreal. Obama is not a Messiah, but he is the person who I hope and think will bring America back on track as the country every other in the world wants to identify themselves with. Not because they are forced (“Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.“), but because it’s a country that inspires us and shows us that even though we are different, we can be one.
This election has more than ever been driven by the social media and technology that is such an integrated part of many people’s lives. Obama raised more than $600.000.000 by using the potential of having a social network as a great part of the way his supporters are organized. It’s phenomenal, and reminds a lot of people of how John F. Kennedy used television as a great part of his campaign back in the days.
What I’m more interested in (being mostly a technology-blogger), is how Obama will use the social media to his advantage from now on. We have seen his own social network (MyBO) during the campaign alongside Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, text messages and the newsletters that encouraged us to donate. Now that he has been elected, his administration has put up www.change.gov which serves as a means to follow Barack Obama in the transition period until inauguration (70 days away, the site tell me). They have a blog (today it’s regarding Veterans’ Day – with a slideshow from Flickr, albeit in very low quality) which can be followed in my RSS-reader of choice, and I can apply for a job, if I have the desire to do so.
“Will he blog?“, David Weinberger asks – and says so himself that it’s a bit ambitious to hope so, but isn’t hope what this election was all about? It works for the Danish Prime Minister, so why not for the American President? All I hope for is that the Obama-Biden administration will be open and welcoming input from the American people in a way it has never been seen before. Change.gov already asks people to write their stories and send them in, so a facilitation of the possibilities the internet gives you is already underway, but I want to see them drive it all the way to the front. The technology is there – they just need to have the courage to open up and start the conversation.
Here are some links for you to enjoy while I go back to more or less regular blogging about tech and what else is on my mind:
How He Did It – Newsweek were allowed to follow Obama around during the campaign and has written 7 very long articles about it. It’s really worth a read, as it also follows some of the issues from inside the McCain-campaign and their problems with Palin, and because of an embargo, they got a lot of information out of the employees, as long as they promised to not print it until after the election.
White House Photo Blog from TIME and CNN, which picks one picture a day from all of their White House photographers and shows it here. The navigation is bad, but the pictures are magnificent.
Buy a copy of New York Times from the day after the election.
John McCain’s concession speech. One of the best political speeches I have ever heard. Period. (If this was the McCain we had seen during the election campaign, I don’t think it would be President-elect in favor of the Democrats.)
I’ve been watching a lot of Entourage lately, and I guess this is what Obama must have felt like when he was declared the President-elect around 11 o’clock in the evening.