We at ClickZ spent some time yesterday playing around with the site, which is the official online destination of president-elect Obama's administration. It would seem BarackObama.com and My.BarackObama.com have been retired -- at least until 2012.
A few questions raised by the new online presence:
Is this a marketing or a government site? To the best of our knowledge, Change.gov marks the first time a major candidate has created a site for transition planning. A sober undertaking, right? Yet there are some promotional flourishes here, such as an a blog, an e-mail sign-up, even a countdown-to-inauguration clock. That's pretty close in spirit -- if not in intent -- to those Bush countdown clock keychains.
The supporter database: Can you take it with you? Political operators have wondered what will become of Obama's immense list of supporters. More to the point, what's to become of their e-mail addresses and mobile phone numbers? What of the Twitter account and its 121,000 followers? Will he tell them about this site? And what will he do with the e-mail addresses he's collecting on the Change.gov site?
Does Obama's administration really want to know what you think? Thousands of posts have been created at My.BarackObama.com, the multi-user blogging portal with around 1.5 million registered users. Now our future President is soliciting involvement again, by asking Change.gov visitors to Share your vision and Share your story. What happens to all those voices, posts and stories? Maybe they'll be taped to the White House fridge, to be doted on proudly at midnight-snack time.
Until March 2012, Zach Rodgers was managing editor of ClickZ's award-winning coverage of news and trends in digital marketing. He reported on the rise of web companies, data markets, ad technologies, and government Internet policy, among other subjects.