ArsTechnica 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.