Obama's filtering frustrations... you are not alone
When bureaucracies kick in the real world stops. Obama started work for proper last week and hit the same problems that teachers, administrators and civil servants hit every day: the technology with which he and his advisers are so fluent, the technology that helped them win the election is blocked and filtered.
What does it mean? According to a fascinating piece in the Washington Post, no Facebook to communicate with citizens including his supporters (apparently 80% of the country at the moment), no outside email accounts or address books to maintain contact.
Nor did the site reflect the transparency Obama promised to deliver. "The President has not yet issued any executive orders," it stated hours after Obama issued executive orders to tighten ethics rules, enhance Freedom of Information Act rules and freeze the salaries of White House officials who earn more than $100,000.
Officials also hit that well-trodden path of many a creative educator:
Jeff Jarvis makes a separate but related point, based on discussions he had two years ago as Britain's opposition party prepared digitally for an eventual (and as yet unheld) election: if you're going to win democracy with technology, you've got to continue governing with technology.
It leaves an interesting question for Obama in office, but also a question that filters down through the country's schools, hospitals and bureaucracies: if the White House and Downing Street increasingly rely upon social, mobile and gaming tools to survive and carry out their business to their best abilities, when will the obligation hit our other public institutions?
Obama is now the first ever President to have a computer in the Oval Office, in the form of the 'BarackBerry'. He's doing what millions of teachers and students are obliged to do - use mobile devices to circumvent the slow-moving load of bureaucracy.
Is it not time that this question is asked loud and clear and repeatedly by the lobby of millions of vocal teachers already thriving on the web: when can all our public institutions join the free world?