Critical.
Authoritative.
Strategic.
Subscribe to CIO Magazine »

Twitter, search robots get welcomes from Obama White House

Presidential Twitter account gains followers; WhiteHouse.gov redesign erases indexing limits

President Barack Obama's stated plan to create a "Google for government" began Tuesday with a WhiteHouse.gov makeover that was announced via a blog entry on the redesigned Web site and a Twitter post.

The Web-site transition occurred when Obama officially took over the presidency from predecessor George W. Bush. The Twitter announcement said "Change has come to WhiteHouse.gov" and pointed online readers to the blog post written by Macon Phillips, the Obama administration's director of new media at the White House.

The @TheWhitehouse Twitter account was set up by the Bush administration, which posted more than 1,500 entries there. But the account never attracted much of a following until now. On Monday, it had only about 3,800 followers. By this evening, just a little over 24 hours since Obama's inauguration, the number of followers had topped 14,000 and was seemingly climbing with each page refresh.

Twitter is a familiar communications tool for the new administration. The Obama campaign's Twitter account still has more than 144,000 followers, the largest number for any account on the microblogging site, according to statistics posted on the Twitterholic.com Web site. That's despite the fact that only two new entries have been posted on the BarackObama page since Nov. 5.

The Obama administration may have also used the WhiteHouse.gov redesign to let the tech community know that its plan for a Google-enabled government is under way.

As a senator from Illinois, Obama sought to make federal data searchable and usable in tools such as mashups. His ideas include putting data in standard formats and making the information accessible through RSS feeds and other methods. That is similar to what Vivek Kundra, the District of Columbia's chief technology officer and one of the top candidates for the position of federal CTO under Obama, has accomplished with the DC government's Data Catalog, which makes a variety of municipal data available via the Web.

New York-based blogger Jason Kottke noted in a post yesterday that since the transfer of power to Obama, the robots.txt file on the WhiteHouse.gov site had been changed significantly. Search engines rely on robot programs to index content, and robots.txt is used to set limits on what is indexed. The Bush administration's "disallow" listings, which went on for 2,400 lines, were removed by the new administration and replaced by a new robots.txt file that appears to have just a single entry.

Join the CIO Australia group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.

More about: Federal Data, Google, Symbol, VIA
References show all
Comments are now closed.
Related Coverage
Related Whitepapers
Latest Stories
Community Comments
Tags: search, twitter, Barack Obama
Latest Blog Posts
Whitepapers
  • How Flash Storage Changes Everything
    Pure Storage set out with a simple mission: to create a purpose-built storage array that overcomes these barriers. The result is the Pure Storage FlashArray and its tightly-coupled software, the Purity Operating Environment. When compared to a disk array, the FlashArray is: - 10X faster (on both IOPS and latency); - 10X more efficient in power, space, and cooling; - More reliable on enterprise workloads; - So simple that it installs in minutes; and - Less costly than the $5 per GB that is the going rate for performance disk.
    Learn more »
  • The THREE Pillars of High Availability Storage
    Without high-availability storage, you don’t actually have anything – so for a storage system to deliver high availability, system architecture needs to handle component failure as well as service upgrades. This webcast presentation discusses the importance of high-availability to organisations, and how to make sure you can access your data whenever you need it. By using Pure Storage system architecture, along with infiniband as a stateless controller, viewers will learn how Pure Storage meet their philosophy of a “non-disruptive everything”.
    Learn more »
  • Information Management
    Valuable data can be a needle in a haystack, but by leveraging the value in existing information assets, organisations can generate real and achievable gains in revenue generation, IT investments and productivity gains. This whitepaper discusses how Information Management (IM) is a multi-faceted discipline that can be employed to meet or exceed your business objectives.
    Learn more »
All whitepapers
rhs_login_lockGet exclusive access to Invitation only events CIO, reports & analysis.
Latest Jobs
Salary Calculator

Supplied by

View the full Peoplebank ICT Salary & Employment Index

Recent comments

Computerworld
ARN
Techworld
CMO