Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Well I was teaching my first J201 section today and missed the inauguration, but I've got it TiVo'd at home so I'll get to see the drama later. For now, I was struck by how much the www.whitehouse.gov site — which now bears President Obama's striking brand and style — has changed over the last decade. How do I know? Why, I just step into the Wayback Machine, Sherman! (Thanks for the inspiration to Political Base.) Funny, it went from late-1990s sparse in the Clinton/Gore administration (just a list of bullet points, really) to early-21st-century cluttered in the Bush/Cheney administration, and now back to post-Obama crisp. "Change we can click on." (Now if they'd only fix www.usa.gov too ...)


For those of you who know what a "robots.txt" file does, an astute graduate student of mine spotted this as well, from boingboing:
The old whitehouse.gov robots.txt file, 2400 lines long, disallowing easy indexing of content for search engines, etc.:


The new one, at http://www.whitehouse.gov/robots.txt :

User-agent: *
Disallow: /includes