White House on SlideShare and why Govt content should be open, searchable & shareable

July 14, 2009

The Obama administration has made great strides in using the internet to connect with people. They have videos on YouTube, pictures on Flickr and now, documents & presentations on SlideShare.


Why are documents & presentations important? Because they are used to record and share much of the thinking and ideas in modern life. And they are used by Govt & Public Services as much as they are used by rest of us. Yet, they are locked up in proprietary formats like .doc, pdf, .ppt etc. Sharing is hard as the files are big (and clog up email inboxes). Most presentations & documents live on people's hard drives. Sometimes people upload them to their websites but that's still the exception, not the rule.

A lot of documents produced by the various arms of the Gov are meant to be shared with the public. Some of them are for communicating policy. You can read a New York Times article about Whitehouse's Middle Class Taskforce / Green Jobs initiative, but its different when you can directly view and embed a document about the initiative.

At other times, documents are for getting a message out and making it a part of the conversation on the web. For example, Whitehouse uploaded the President's speech in Cairo in 15 different languages (Arabic, French, Portugese, Chinese, Dari, Hindi, Hebrew, Persian, Russian, Malay, Turkish, Urdu, Pashto, Punjabi & Indonesian).

Or you can view a presentation about technology policy technology policy from Vivek Kundra, US Chief Information Officer (presentation embedded below).

Please join us in Welcoming President Barack Obama & his White House team to SlideShare.