So much for an open presidency

Much has already been written about the importance of the use of technology in the U.S. election.

Election Night Sketchbook from Social Signal

Election Night Sketchbook from Social Signal has been applauded as an important nod to the importance of engaging with people, yet has still received some criticisms about how open it really is. Still, it is a fantastic indicator of the effectiveness of technology to empower and mobilize passionate constituents. Just as social media is increasingly important in our everyday interactions with brands, we are able to engage with our government in this efficient, open, collaborative manner.

So I was saddened and surprised to read that Obama may have to give up his blackberry (and not just to exchange it for an iPhone or an Android!) Evidently there are concerns about government record-keeping.

Wow, didn’t poor Sarah Palin get roasted online for the use of her yahoo email account for “official business”?

The concerns of internet privacy and documentation of online activities isn’t limited to government officials. We should all be aware of the potential long-term implications of our online activities. At the Thin Air Summit last weekend, the comment was made that you should consider if you would wish anything you put online to be read by family members or splashed on the front page of the newspaper. If not, a) don’t do it, or b) don’t document it.

The world would be a better place if we all took the first option above. Unfortunately, it appears that by cautioning president-elect Obama not to carry a blackberry, we are advising him to go with the latter.

We all need to learn how to monitor our online activities to protect our personal and professional brand affiliations: should we not expect our President to be able to do the same?

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