Presidential “Fireside Chats” Take On New Virtual Persona

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Thanks to advances in technology used in everyday life, Obama may be one of the more personable presidents yet.

BY: Caitlin Nolan

Barack Obama became the 44th president of the United States on January 20th, 2009, marking a monumental change in American government. All aspects of the current presidency are a stark contrast to the previous regime, as are the forms of technology used to communicate with each other. Such advances may translate into a noticeable difference in the relationship with the American people.

Networking sites such as Facebook and Myspace, as well as media sharing websites such as Youtube were instrumental in the election of Obama, something he has not forgotten. Continuing to use such sites to communicate to the American people about important issues such as healthcare and the current economic situation may prove to bring a heightened awareness to a younger generation that has already proved their involvement.

“Weekly Youtube updates keep the people, mostly our generation, very informed with our country,” Matt Waldbauer, a sophomore at Marist College said. “It’s important to have the citizens on your side, especially after Bush.”

In choosing to maintain a relationship with the American citizens via Youtube, Obama is reaching out in a very modern way.

“Youtube is a valuable resource for information and training,” James Curran, Manager of Networking at Marist College stated. “It’s more than just videos for fun. We’re in a video age. Going from MTV with music videos in the 80s to now, people are looking for something to grab onto.”


President Obama also made history in choosing to pursue the option of keeping his Blackberry during his presidency. Both Presidents Clinton and Bush did not use e-mail while holding office on account of the fact that it is considered public record and once out of office, the American people are privy to such information. In such a fast- paced, high- stress environment such as the presidency, many do not question Barack Obama’s motives in keeping his phone.

“Unified communications solutions are new and taking off,” Curran, added. “Video, e-mail, complete mobility: your blackberry will do that.”

While it may be too early to truly estimate the value of such advances and their influence on the presidency, it certainly looks promising to many.

I think the potential is there but it is up to him to make the flow of communication easier,” Danny Jagoda, an Information Technology major at Marist College commented. “We have the technology to provide an easier way to communicate, so people can be kept constantly aware of what he is doing.”

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