Jesse Jarnow

change.gov

“Got To Be Some Changes Made” – The Staple Singers (download) (buy)

The Obamagasms continued today. For me, they came, quivering and screaming, through the new site, change.gov. While complete transparency and openness in government is impossible, and maybe not even desirable, this is a pleasant start. One can peruse the General Services Administration directory issued to all new White House personnel, apply for a job, or submit ideas. While WhiteHouse.gov is certainly chock full of information, change.gov is efficient and friendly. Perhaps it’ll all prove illusory, this change thing, but Obama’s clearly got better web designers. And that’s a goddamn good way to begin. I’d like to see what kind of mail comes in. Perhaps I’ll apply for that job.

There are some bits worth poking at. For example, the semi-self-serving-and-presumptuous-but-also-neat-and-2.0y American Moment feature. There are also forms at the top of the page for one to enter one’s email address and zip code, with no explanation of why they might be needed. Nonetheless, I entered them with only the briefest of second thoughts, willfully giving my contact info to a government-domained website. Apparently, I’ve just signed up to help remake Washington. Or something.

Change is “change” is “‘change,'” but it’s also a talking point, albeit the peaceful variety. It’ll certainly be fascinating to see how President Obama’s rhetoric continues to maintain or mutate the brand and how that relates reality. (Practically speaking, does he continue to use change.gov or take over WhiteHouse.gov?) Most telling, for the moment, is the blunt NEED CONTENT page behind the “Obama National Service Plan” link. Then, there’s a lot that’s empty on this site. Content will be coming soon, and probably quickly. Hope they’re ready, and–more–I hope they’re serious.

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