President Obama Continues Efforts to Advance Technology

President Obama Continues Efforts to Advance Technology

reality check

Since the beginning of his presidential campaign, President Obama has managed to use technology successfully, especially social media sites, by connect to young adults in a way that no other candidate has. Ever since his victory, President Obama continues to make technology a top priority, using it to increase government transparency, and most recently to reach out to the public in a more immediate and personal way. Two main examples of President Obama’s Administration making effective use of the power of the internet, include the launch of the website “Reality Check” and the CDC’s use of social media sites.

In an effort to stem the rising tide of myths surrounding health care reform, President Obama’s administration decided to combat the negative backlash electronically, by launching a website entitled Reality Check. The site immediately reached out to over 300,000+ Facebook friends and 900,000+ followers on Twitter and has continued to increase its audience exponentially ever since. The Los Angeles Times has reported that the social networking site Digg voted the page to its homepage, which has the potential of exposing to it to millions of viewers. Digg.com is a popular site that allows people to share stories/links and offers people the opportunity to vote and comment on the submissions.

The second instance involves using social media sites as a way to relay information about the H1N1 Virus (commonly known as “Swine Flu”) to the public, especially young adults who are the most prone to the illness. The director of the CDC’s e-health marketing division, Janice Nall, explained that information posted on sites other than the CDC’s official website received greater publicity, resulting in reaching a larger audience. For example, an informative video posted on YouTube about the flu was viewed by nearly 2 million people, while the same video on the CDC’s official website was only viewed by 100,000 people. iHealthBeat offered a partial list of the specific strategies used by the CDC to educate the public on H1N1, including: targeting independent bloggers, sending email alerts to those on government mailing

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lists, disseminating embedded graphic buttons (connected to the CDC’s website) that people can post on their SNS, sending text message alerts, and maintaining a constant stream of informative tweets on Twitter. There have even been rumors that in the future the CDC will attempt to discover ways to use virtual games/worlds to reach an even younger more vulnerable audience.

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