Future of the White House Website

While working on this project, I discovered that each administration is responsible for the operations and content of the White House Website. That means on January 20, 2017, all the current content will be moved to the National Archives Electronic Record Archives site and the White House site will have to be rebuilt completely.

Recently the Obama administration provided an interesting and quite helpful post on the White House site regarding what they call the Digital Transition. The current administration has many “firsts” in the digital era including establishing We the People petitions, @WhiteHouse Tweets, and thousands of hours of video footage among other things.

I am pleased to know the archives will be responsible for maintaining all these digital records as they have for the Bush era.

What I am curious about is just how effective the next administration will be in running the White House site. Will they hit the ground running or will the site be rudimentary with little substantive content, at least at the start? Will they continue to host petitions from the people? Will they even publish and allow access to the presidential actions, or will we need to wait until they appear in the Federal Register or Congressional Record?

I expect at least some time beginning January 20 will be needed to get the new site content up and running smoothly, but it remains to be seen how it will operate in the future. My hope is it will continue to be a useful site for the American people providing the necessary transparency of an open government. My speculation is it will be far less transparent and may even become simply an infomercial for the man and his brand, as opposed to the office.

 

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