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Change, in more ways than one

Approximately three hours ago Barack Obama became America’s 44th president. Perhaps I never paid attention, but it seems to me like today is a much more joyous occasion than any of the presidential inaugurations that I can remember (for the record, it’s 3).

But the thing that I find the most interesting is the technology used by the new administration. The inauguration has used Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and YouTube, just to name a few. I was completely blindsided by an entirely revamped website, along with a brand new White House blog complete with not just one, but six RSS feeds. An unfortunate, but fun side effect of this is that half the links in a Google search of the White House website are currently broken.

It seems that Obama is determined to drag the Executive Office kicking and screaming into the 21st century. I’ve been following the Weekly Presidential Radio Address via podcast over the past few months, and Obama’s been posting weekly address on YouTube. I’m curious what this means for the future of the presidency. FDR’s fireside chats that started when he was Governor of New York became the weekly radio address after he became president, and every president since has continued the tradition. Will Obama’s practices become presidential traditions?

It almost seems like they’ll be forced to. After four years, and especially after eight when Americans have become accustomed to the prezizzle on YouTube, would the next president have the courage to discontinue them?

I expected this type of thing to be common when one of today’s teens grew up and became president. But it’s all happened much earlier than I expected.