Paul Boutin seems to have landed a gig over at the New York Times writing for their blog GadgetWise. I may have known this already, or this might be the first time I’ve learned it (I thought he went to Wired after Valleywag? Guess not!).
At any rate, seeing his byline there is about as surprising as is that someone as plugged in as him is actually asking the question with a straight face: “Mr. president [sic], why have you left us twisting in the wind on Twitter?”
President Obama never used Twitter. Certainly, his campaign staffers used it. Not the President, though.
Similarly, President Obama never wrote a blog post until long after the primaries, and if memory serves only wrote a handful of updates in the period from the primaries to the general election.
Somehow, though, he gets the credit for being the Web 2.0 president, as Paul put it.
It’s late, and I’m tired, so I’m not going to dig up the article in the Mashable archives that’s springing to mind, but I distinctly remember right after it was official that Obama was the Democratic nominee – saying something like “He used social media as a great fundraising tool, but never to engage.”
I was roasted roundly for my statement, but I still stand by it. Time after time, the President has shown he’s mostly interested in interfacing with sycophantic members of the press, be they New Media or Old. He hasn’t used an online campaign tool or governance tool as of yet to act as anything other than a megaphone. The whole bait and switch maneuver he pulled with announcing Biden so as to get people’s mobile numbers just further supports his interest in technology only as a fundraising tool.
Sure, it’s easy to say that now he’s the president, he’s got more important things to worry about. But what about that decade long election process (alright, it may not have been a decade, but it felt like it). Couldn’t he have used the Internet as a communications tool rather than a megaphone?
Only people who bought the hype are now surprised that they’ve been “pumped and dumped.”
Social media pariahs like me have been saying this all along, though.