The White House has taken yet another step towards connecting with the people across digital channels with the release of a free Whitehouse.gov app allowing users to access more content including streaming video from their iPhone or iPod Touch.
The app, available now incorporates 5 key streams, namely Blog, video, photos, newsroom and live. The blog is effectively the news stream, with access to full articles including policy updates discussions and news. Videos include the latest press briefings, recent speeches and Obama’s weekly address. The Photos are self explanatory.
The first three sections offer a great way to catch up on what is happening and what the administration is thinking in terms of current events, world news and policy discussions. The newsroom works to offer the latest news coming from the White House which can at times be very ‘dry’ ["Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies"] so may only be of interest at times of crisis or if you are into politics. That just leaves the ‘Live’ sections which looks exciting.
Sadly, ‘Live’ is only great when there is indeed something happening. So checking in today we can see that President Obama Holds a Town Hall was actually last Friday but at least we can see there is content in here. The President’s State of the Union Address is set to be streamed here next week which I think will be the big winner for this section.
As a Brit I was delighted to download this app, it is open, frank and lets me see what I want, when I want, from the Obama administration. All the articles offer links for further discussion or connection on the website which can open in a new window.
Since the Obama inauguration the US Government has worked hard to harness all the digital channels that worked so well during the Presidential elections. Not content with an upgraded website and an active YouTube channel this takes the information and connection right to the people. The app is clean, light on size, easy to use and informative. I only wish the UK could do something similar.