Obamania vows techies

Updated: Aug 31 2008, 05:59am hrs
Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee in the American presidential race, has proved himself a tech-savvy politician beyond compare. He has enthused legions of grassroots supporters to get online and get active, whether it is by sending out e-mails, or doing heavy-duty social networking, or just text messaging, to recruit supporters and to rake in the monies. Inspired commoners came aboard his campaign with the most ingenious of videos that took no time at all in going viral on YouTube, including one that spins him into the Bollywood zone (see picture). Also, the mans penchant for moving around with a fashionably loaded iPod and a manically active blackberry has also become somewhat of an urban legend.

What the more sophisticated commentators are now asking is, does Obamas embrace of technology translate into policy support for the technology industry and its people On net neutrality, he is apparently quite liberal, reportedly supporting the idea of legislating for equal access to the Internet: Network providers should not be allowed to charge fees to privilege the content or applications of some websites and Internet applications over others, reads the Obama campaign website.

Obama has also often spoken of taking e-governance to the next level, using technology to create a more open and direct relationship between the government and the people.

This would mean both soliciting public opinion much more aggressively and also tapping into public expertise on selected subjects. Ideally, this would mean that the ordinary citizen would be able to lobby the president just as the big corporations do on a regular basis.