Barack Obama’s social media archive and the power of a searchable self

As America prepares to say goodbye to the first President of the social media era, the White House has announced the creation of a searchable database of everything Barack Obama and his administration posted on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram and Pinterest over eight years and two terms in office.

The archive, in itself, containing over 250,000 posts, photos, and videos shared by more than 100 official Obama White House social media profiles, is impressive – but the intention behind it more so.

By creating this archive and setting a challenge to the public to see how creative they can be with this wealth of data, as well as what practical uses they can find, the White House is demonstrating a keen awareness of how sharing data can benefit the public good.

We’ve been open before about the win-win situation that data-sharing creates, for both businesses large and small as well as users.

In fact it’s the cornerstone of our Internet of Me vision, where individual control starts with the gathering of our personal data in one secure place and then sharing slices of it, if we choose, for personalised services, convenience or rewards.

Data taken and taken from behind our backs, as now by ad tech companies, is widely known to be 30-50 per cent wrong, often misattributed and rarely up to date even if it doesn’t contain major mistakes.

But 100 per cent accurate and deep data, shared with permission, is a building block of innovation and personalisation – and something that is deeply desirable.

And when that’s shared for the good of all, such as health research projects, then the results can benefit us all as well.

So if you want to see why President Obama sees value in having a searchable archive – and get one of your own – come along and find out more about!