The Internet President

Crossposted on The Morningside Post.

Obama_internet
Image from Desmond Blog

Barack Obama has been called, by everyone from Columbia Law School professor Eben Moglen to media expert Jeff Jarvis, “the first candidate elected by the internet.” By all accounts, online fundraising was a major factor in propelling Obama to the top, and his new Change.gov site lets Americans share their vision for the next administration.

Now, as the Presidential transition is in process, Obama’s team is taking Internet awareness one step further. If you’re interested in working in a top position in the White House, the New York Times reports that you’d better be willing to divulge your blog, your Facebook profile, and “all aliases or ‘handles’ you have used to communicate on the Internet” in the past decade.

I gave it a shot, and realized my list would include not just profiles on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn but also accounts with Delicious, Twitter, BigSight, FriendFeed, Dopplr, Metafilter and Last.fm (and an unfortunate experiment with Xanga at age 14). Will a recently-loved song on Favtape become a “possible source of embarrassment” to me, me family, or the president-elect? Will a two-year-old blog post of awkward photos of George Bush seem less sarcastic than fawning, casting me into the ranks of suspected Republicans?

I don’t have to give up as much as the Big O himself, though. (Side note: calling the president-elect “the Big O” will likely embarrass me, my family and Obama himself. This is the part where I kiss my Secretary of State aspirations goodbye.) Due to security concerns, Obama’s being asked to surrender his beloved BlackBerry before stepping into the Oval Office.