Open source president
The election is over and now we have a new President-elect. One thing is for sure Obama has utilized technology in a powerful way. If you are a fan of technology you should be able to realize and appreciate the role technology played in his campaign.
But in this video Conservative commentator Alex Castellanos is pointing out how Obama seems to embody an Open Source method to government, a sort of “bottom up” method, and contrasts that with the old style of government to Microsoft’s use it or lose it ethos.
This shows again how open source goes far beyond just a way to develop software. It can be used in hardware, or business practice and, to the open source person, can be a way of life. Obama ran on transparency and openness, and found himself with a very large grassroots volunteer group. If you take the time to think back you see it in all areas of his campaign. He raised record amounts of money online from multiple thousands of people rather than just large donors, he was able to include and use all people especially the younger generation, and finally used transparency and clearness to get his message across. A large part of his success was due to the fact that he was able to include more people in the process than any other candidate ever did or could. That seems to embody the open source philosophy as far as I know it to be. He also exemplifies a lot of open source ideals in his rhetoric . This is probably the main reason that I am extremely hopeful because whether you agree with him or not you get the idea that your voice will still be heard as you now get the opportunity to actively participate in government. This was very evident in his campaign site my.barackobama.com which brought people together from all over the country and was a well tuned engine during the campaign. His current offering is change.gov. On this site you have the opportunity to “share your story” or “share your vision,” and the site clearly outlines his plans and agendas.
This is change that I can believe in. I am excited by a politician that can utilize technology like this and one that tries to break down barriers to create more open government. I hope this is the beautiful beginning of a new era in Washington and that Obama won’t forget the things that made him wonderful. What do you think?