The Number 10 Downing Street Web site, home of the British Prime Minister, just had a new neighbor move in, a much younger neighbor. Number 10 Downing Street More Than Just a Door is a Web site geared towards young people, getting them involoved in their government, and helping them learn all about the job of Prime Minister: where he works, where he lives, and what he does.
The site is easily navigable, with icons resembling Lego people (one who looks distinctly like Winston Churchill). Students who may be doing research for class can read about "Hot Topics" such as health care, education and the Olympics which will be held in London in 2012. Children who go on the site can take virtual tours of Number 10, follow Prime Minister Tony Blair on a typical day, or read about the history of the building itself. They may learn that Margaret Thatcher used to work as a chemist, or that the last resident of Number 10 as a private resident was named Mr. Chicken. "It is a huge privilege to serve your country as PM [Prime Minister] and I hope you enjoy your visit!" Blair tells visitors in a note on the homepage.
Being able to connect with young people is becoming more important to politicians, and using technology seems to be a prime way to connect. The White House Kid's Page reaches out to school aged children, and lets them take a Holiday tour guided by the First Dog, Barney. Earlier this week, the voter registration site Declare Yourself announced it has teamed up with the popular MySpace to reach the younger vote. Number 10's young people site follows these examples, getting young people involved in the actions of their government through the technology they use everyday.