The Internet President

Savvy use of the Internet and technology in general helped Barack Obama win the White House. Will it now become a major part of how he governs?

Here is the scenario cast by Harvard Business Publishing blogger John Sviokla, in a post titled Barack Obama's Edge-Based Organization.

"My bet is he will do with the edge-based organization what Franklin D. Roosevelt did with the radio -- reinvent it to create a whole new method of governance. He will go direct to the people via all relevant media; he will organize by issue; he will create a new form of direct democracy which will change the balance of power between the executive and the legislative branches of government."
Let's set aside for a moment whether we really want to change the balance of power among the three branches of government -- that sounds like a little bit too much consolidation of power in the Executive for me.

But Sviokla presents a great insight into how the Obama team allowed his supporters to self-organize and tap into sophisticated campaign technology. One example: "He even armed them with an Apple iPhone application that allowed you to compare your address book to the centralized Obama campaign phone logs and see if there was someone you knew who needed to be called by you -- not the machine -- to support Obama."

It will indeed be interesting to see how the Obama administration takes advantage of the Web, even if national security measures require the president-elect to turn off his own Blackberry.

What are your ideas for a digital president to increase his learning and influence using technology?