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The Coming Digital Presidency 464

Ranjit Mathoda writes "Marc Andreeson, the cofounder of Netscape, met Senator Barack Obama in early 2007. Mr. Andreeson recalls, "In particular, the Senator was personally interested in the rise of social networking, Facebook, Youtube, and user-generated content, and casually but persistently grilled us on what we thought the next generation of social media would be and how social networking might affect politics — with no staff present, no prepared materials, no notes. He already knew a fair amount about the topic but was very curious to actually learn more." As a social organizer and a lover of new technologies, Mr. Obama could be expected to make good use of such tools in getting elected, and he has done so. What may not be as obvious is that Mr. Obama appears to have a keen interest in using such technologies in the act of governing. And whether Mr. Obama becomes president, or Mrs. Clinton or Mr. McCain do, these new tools have the potential to transform how government operates."

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