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WhiteHouse.gov: Moving Into Advanced Work Before Mastering the Basics

BY Nancy Scola | Tuesday, May 12 2009

The Washington Post's Jose Antonio Vargas does his second round of grading WhiteHouse.gov, the White House's main online home, and a salient criticism peeks through the comments of the various graders. On the plus side, the Obama White House's web operation is moving into "advanced" level web work with gusto. In a little more than three months, they've expanded what's expected from a presidential administration to include interactivity like online town halls, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and blog posts from a range of administration officials. But the White House is losing points for completeness. Getting lost in the process is a strong grasp of the basic ABCs of government web work. The daily tedium of press briefings and presidential remarks and details on planned events has often slipped through the cracks on WhiteHouse.gov. That record-keeping might not be sexy. It is, though, a box that a modern presidential administration needs to vigorously check first before moving on to far more fun and attention-grabbing online experimentation.

There's hope yet, though: the critics grading of the WhiteHouse.gov has moved up from a C+ to a respectable B.