August 27, 2009

The Lion of the Web

Of all the things Ted Kennedy managed to accomplish during his extensive Senate career, one of the most lasting was his pioneering use of the internet to reach out to his constituents.

As the Sunlight Foundation's Paul Blumenthal explains, Kennedy was approached in 1993 with the suggestion that he create an online web presence so his constituents could stay in contact with him. He signed off on the idea, saying, "If you can find a way for me to reach constituents using computer networks, do it." Upon launching the website, Kennedy became the first Senator online.

While his first website might look outdated now, it was revolutionary for its time.

In this day and age a politician without a Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube page is the one behind the times. Thanks to Senator Kennedy for recognizing the importance of the internet in keeping elected officials accountable and accessible.