Thursday, November 13, 2008

Transparency clouded

Transparency on the Internet is a good thing. But you don't want to mess with it -- the web has a long memory. Take Obama's new transition team website, for example.

You may recall that I was very excited about the detailed agenda that had been posted on the website. Well, now it's gone. And if whoever changed it hoped no one would notice, well.

Obama's website scrubbed (

Lessons from (Tech Insider)

Obama Agenda Temporarily Off (Washington Post)

Barak Obama removes agenda from website (The Daily Telegraph, UK)

and much more, including:

Obama's vanishing agenda: Calm down, have some dip
(Ars Technica)

So is the change sinister? Probably not. But after establishing a site dedicated to transparency, to make a significant change without some kind of notification was a huge mistake. As you can see.

And that's the lesson to anyone who has an online presence. No matter what you do, someone will notice. And if they think you're out of line, you will get called on it.

It's why I own up to my mistakes on this blog instead of just deleting the entry. This is a higher level of scrutiny than we're used to offline, but that's fine with me. It helps keep us all honest.

- Ralph

Day 146 of the WJMA Web Watch.

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