a new blog in the house

whitehousepartyArsTechnica has some early observations about the redesign (visual and content) of the Whithouse.gov website – which also includes a blog.  Of course the new adminstration is going to visually redesign the site to differentiate it from the outgoing admin.  But ArsTechnica notes that there are content changes, and a change in the rhetorical stance towards readers.  The new site encourages participation and feedback:

Participation is also a focus of the new site, and Obama’s administration will be publishing all “non-emergency legislation” for five days and soliciting feedback from the public before Obama signs it. The closest thing to a “beta” label is the request for feedback on what other features visitors would like to see at the WhiteHouse.gov site.

And this is a real kicker.  The new site has reduced the robots.txt file to a minumum.  The robots.txt file block or allow search engines to index a site so content on it can be readily found.  The old file blocked hundreds of  index spiders.  The new site seems to block … 0.  Kottke.com writes about the details.

The signal sent to the web and the blogosphere: We share.

Update: More comment on the new website at the NYT Opinionator.

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