The new whitehouse.gov - a new website, new blog, and new direction for interaction

With the inauguration of President Barack Obama, there also was the debut of a new White House website design:

whitehouse-home-page

Notice the prominent use of Flash for the letterhead, simple navigation, interaction, and frequent updates – highlighting the blog and searching the site , along with the top right of the header including a form for signing up for updates.

whitehouse-home-page2

Scrolling to the bottom of the page, we see a large list of links to every major section and topic on the site – a great way to optimize your website for search engines.

Whitehouse.gov, the president's official website (which is fully Section 508 compliant, you can test it here), was re-launched at 12.01pm on Tuesday, moments after Obama was sworn in as the 44th president of the United States.

Obama's campaign centered heavily on his community organization experience, and brought that online - with over 4 million supporters on Facebook , the team focused on social media marketing as a large component of their campaign. The success of BarackObama.com and it's ability to organize locals for the cause has been written about numerous times already, and will certainly be the subject of a book or two, heralding the advent of real Internet politics, since the Dean Scream dampered the last campain cycle's hope.  But a major question began upon his election - how will that translate once he is president? Will there be more use of the Internet to broadcast messages from the White House?

It looks like that is the case. The White House blog, after getting to a slow start, is up to speed - http://www.whitehouse.gov/executive-orders-to-date/. The first entry for executive orders includes the following:

  • Calling for the closure of the Guantanamo detention center within one year
  • Creating a Special Task Force to review detainee policy going forward
  • Ensuring lawful interrogations by requiring that all interrogations of detainees in armed conflict follow the Army Field Manual interrogation guidelines

    As the orders were signed, so were they posted on the blog. Also, this morning the first weekly video YouTube Address was added:

whitehouse-home-page3

 

Viewable here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/president-obama-delivers-your-weekly-address/

This integration or blogs and video for updates is a great strategy to keep your site fresh, and keep visitors interested – this gives them an enticement to sign up for your RSS feeds, mailing list, or other contact method, to help you build a user base.

At protocol 80, we utilize our blog and YouTube video channel also to facilitate the same thing, and encourage our clients to do the same. Please contact us for more information on how to use blogs, RSS and video to bring in more visitors to your site.

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