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Dear President-Elect Obama,
Let me be approximately the 60 billionth person to offer you congratulations on your victory in the presidential campaign - and to make a request of you.
As you learned with your fantastic campaign web operation - which allowed you to do the online fundraising and grassroots organizing that made your long-shot campaign a winner - the web has the power to remake our politics. And not just in campaigning - in governing, too.
You've talked a lot about the need for more transparency in accountability in government. After seven years of one of the most scarily opaque administrations in living memory, an open White House sounds pretty darn good to most of us.
You can get some of the way toward accomplishing that through frequent press conferences, of course; maybe you could even adopt the English government's tradition of a weekly "Question Time" during which members of Parliament grill the Prime Minister on any topic they choose.
But press conferences can only do so much - you're still speaking to people through the intermediary of the press, after all.
I know you're planning on doing weekly YouTube "fireside chats." And that's awesome!
But there is something to be said for good old blogging.
First of all, blogs can, when written by one person, still feel like online diary entries: they give you a real sense of connection with the author and a view inside their mind. A lot of people who read Andrew Sullivan's blog, for instance, speak of him feeling almost like a friend. He's sharing his ideas and perspectives on the day's news in an immediate, unfiltered way, every day - which is what our (news-addicted) friends in real life do, too.
Wouldn't it be great if you could give Americans that sense of connection with their president? A view of what he's thinking and why he makes the decisions he does, straight from the source?
YouTube is great and all, but it feels very broadcast-y and formal. It's a production, and that requires a certain amount of planning and scripting that can take the spontaneity and immediacy out of what you're saying.
Second, blogging might allow for some two-way communication. If you allowed comments (with, obviously, an amazing moderating system), readers could leave a note about what you write. Maybe you'll read some of them and thread someone's comments into a future entry. And hey presto! Someone's web tappings led to a direct audience with the president. That'd be a pretty amazing way to give ordinary people the chance to have your ear. Yes, YouTube allows comments... but have you ever seen a YouTube commenting thread?
Third, you're a really, really good writer. Probably the best writer we've had in the White House since that other skinny guy who came to Washington from Illinois. Blogging seems like a natural outlet to make the most of a gift like yours.
In sum: Please blog! It'll be good for you, and good for the country. And fun. I swear.