Mr. Obama, don't give up your Blackberry! Use it differently.

We have never had an emailing President.

The New York Times reports today that Obama is addicted to his BlackBerry, but will be forced to give it up as President.  It has served as

…a singular conduit to the outside world as the bubble around him grew tighter and tighter throughout his campaign.

“How about that?” Mr. Obama replied to a friend’s congratulatory e-mail message on the night of his victory.

But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas. A decision has not been made on whether he could become the first e-mailing president, but aides said that seemed doubtful.

I say, don’t give it up. Use it differently.

Be not only the first emailing president, be the first to make all of your email instantly public.

Post the output of your Blackberry to a web page.

Obviously, this will change what you can use email for and how you can use it, but imagine the power inherent in making your electronic communication something you share with the world. The leverage of having each word spread so much further than the individuals on the To: line.

Be the most transparent and authentic leader the world has ever seen.

12 thoughts on “Mr. Obama, don't give up your Blackberry! Use it differently.

  1. Great post…as a Blackberry addict, I’m in total agreement that Obama shouldn’t relinquish his Blackberry, but I do think that it’s somewhat sensible for him to stop for four years. As President, he’s going to have EVERYTHING be part of the public domain…including emails that he would potentially send to his friends and family. Even those that are “Merry Christmas from the Obamas” or “Are you going to the White Sox game tonight?”, etc. that would be subject to public scrutiny.

    I think that if the public saw that, it would give people the sense that Obama is more human than the past administration, but then again, where’s the privacy issue for Obama’s personal life? I think it’s a delicate balance for how the White House can stil integrate with the web-generation.

  2. Great post…as a Blackberry addict, I’m in total agreement that Obama shouldn’t relinquish his Blackberry, but I do think that it’s somewhat sensible for him to stop for four years. As President, he’s going to have EVERYTHING be part of the public domain…including emails that he would potentially send to his friends and family. Even those that are “Merry Christmas from the Obamas” or “Are you going to the White Sox game tonight?”, etc. that would be subject to public scrutiny.

    I think that if the public saw that, it would give people the sense that Obama is more human than the past administration, but then again, where’s the privacy issue for Obama’s personal life? I think it’s a delicate balance for how the White House can stil integrate with the web-generation.

  3. Thanks for the comments, Sheryl and Ken!

    Certainly it’s a novel choice to make all your email public. But are the privacy issues really such a delicate balance?

    He’s already had to decide how to deal with questions about every aspect of his life in a culture obsessed with questions like what kind of dog the White House will have. Wouldn’t he just have to apply that in responding to email? Or is there an important difference?

  4. Thanks for the comments, Sheryl and Ken!

    Certainly it’s a novel choice to make all your email public. But are the privacy issues really such a delicate balance?

    He’s already had to decide how to deal with questions about every aspect of his life in a culture obsessed with questions like what kind of dog the White House will have. Wouldn’t he just have to apply that in responding to email? Or is there an important difference?

  5. While Dale’s idea might reduce some of Obama’s communications to pantomime, I think that having an emailing President, especially a mobile-enabled emailing President, is a great idea for keeping Obama’s administration connected to the public.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say that several members of the administration could have many of their communications become entirely transparent.

    open-source government here we come. 🙂

  6. While Dale’s idea might reduce some of Obama’s communications to pantomime, I think that having an emailing President, especially a mobile-enabled emailing President, is a great idea for keeping Obama’s administration connected to the public.

    In fact, I would go so far as to say that several members of the administration could have many of their communications become entirely transparent.

    open-source government here we come. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s