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The Geeks Behind Obama's Web Strategy

Publication Date: 
January 08, 2009
Source: 
The Boston Globe
Author: 
David Talbot

Professor Lawrence Lessig is quoted in The Boston Globe in a story about how the Obama administration will use the Internet as a communication tool:

Today President-elect Obama has a new soapbox, change.gov, the official transition website (also built by Blue State Digital). It features such novelties as Cabinet nominees giving YouTube replies to comments posted by average Americans. The extent to which Obama goes on to use the Web -- as a portal to release more government data for public consumption, as an instrument for rallying Americans to advance his agenda, and to bypass traditional media -- is yet to be seen. But his campaign platform promised Obama would use technology to create "a new level of transparency, accountability, and participation." When Obama takes the oath of office nine days from now, his hallmark is likely to be a massive use of the Web.

...

... Lawrence Lessig, a Stanford law professor and Internet adviser to the campaign, ... pointed out that Obama needs to fight hard for real change -- like fixing healthcare, radically reducing greenhouse-gas emissions to fight climate change, and ensuring Internet freedoms -- to sustain his network's enthusiasm. "The thing they don't quite recognize is how much of their enormous support comes from the perception that this is someone different," Lessig said. "If they behave like everyone else, how much will that stanch the passion of his support?"