Barack Obama: President of the Tech Era

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YouTube videos of Hurricane Sandy. Instagram pictures of lines at the polls. Heated debates on Facebook. Photos tweeted by the President. Is there any doubt that communication technology is here to stay as a mainstream part of American life?

Josh Constine said it so well:

“The 2012 election was a whole different ballgame thanks to technology. We gathered together on the second screen through the debates, polls, and the election itself today.

Social media isn’t just for campaigning or communicating with the tech-savvy audience anymore. It has become possibly the most vivid and persuasive way candidates interact with their supporters. And now email has become so ubiquitous that it can deliver messages of the greatest importance, like accepting the presidency of the United States of America.”

So what is on President Obama’s tech agenda for the next four years? How will his leadership continue to impact the digital industry?

  • National Broadband Plan: In his first term, President Obama set a goal of increasing broadband adoption to 90 percent by 2020. So far, little progress has been made to extend access to low-income and rural areas of the country. This item is sure to move up the priority list this term.
  • Net Neutrality: With the FCC’s current “Open Internet” rules under fire both from supporters and opponents, and emerging gray areas in net neutrality policy will likely come up in the next four years.
  • STEM Education: Obama will continue to support the federal government investments in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math education. As part of the Startup 2.0 Act, foreign graduates from American universities in these fields would be granted visas to remain here and work in the American tech industry.
  • SOPA and PIPA: The Stop Online Piracy Act and Protect IP Act were controversial bills that aimed to change the way the Internet works. Search engines like Google would have to modify search results to exclude foreign websites that host illegally copied material among other clauses. While both SOPA and PIPA were both killed, experts believe that they might come back in some other form.
  • Government Investment in the Tech Industry: The Small Business Administration can be expected to continue investing millions for early stage companies and those outside the typical startup zones of California and New York for both technology and clean energy.
  • Startup 2.0 Act: Along with extending work visas to STEM graduates, the Startup 2.0 Act would create an entrepreneurship visa for foreign workers who create jobs in the U.S. and would eliminate country-specific caps on visas.
  • Cybersecurity:  The controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA), which would have given broad powers and immunity to government and military intelligence agencies in order to collect and share private data of customers without the use of warrants was stalled in Congress, but the White House is rumored to be considering implementing cybersecurity law by executive order.

What do you hope will make it onto President Obama’s tech agenda? Does he need to take up the public’s concerns about privacy online? What about wireless Internet? Let your voice be heard in the comment section below.

Michelle Stinson Ross

Michelle Stinson Ross

Content & Outreach Goddess at AuthorityLabs
Michelle Stinson Ross is a digital marketing industry recognized authority on the outreach power of social media. She has worked as a community manager and consultant for several brands to increase brand awareness, raise the visibility of special promotions, and train their teams to use the social space to connect with media influencers and the public. Michelle is part of the marketing team at AuthorityLabs and co-hosts #SocialChat, a Twitter based live chat that covers a variety of topics geared toward social media marketing (Mondays at 9 p.m. ET). Her passion for social media marketing has made her a regular conference speaker at events like ClickZ Live, and Search Marketing Expo. She has also been a featured guest on Webmaster Radio and several industry Hangouts on Air.
Michelle Stinson Ross
Michelle Stinson Ross
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  • Walter Weeks

    I believe this is the first time we have seen the true power of social media in an election. President Obama’s tweet of ‘Four more years’ smashed the record for the number of retweets. People from all over the world have been able to express their opinions about the election, which shows the true beauty of social media.

    • Michelle Stinson Ross

      Well said, Walter. I’d say that the Obama campaign netted the ultimate ROI from their social media efforts.

  • Michelle Stinson Ross

    The music and film industries have great organizations that were involved in crafting SOPA/PIPA. As members of the internet industry, we have a group to collectively share our voice as well. Had a great conversation with Chris Boggs, Chairman of SEMPO (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization). Be sure that as new legislation comes forward to deal with tech issues SEMPO will be a part of the discussion.