The President and Social Networking

Regardless of your personal views on President Obama’s policies and program implementation, I think you’d have to admit that he uses the possibilities of social networking more effectively than any other President before him. I watched Obama’s State of the Union address on Tuesday — not on television, but live on YouTube. While I was watching, I noticed a little red telephone icon next to the YouTube logo.

This took me to a page called “Your Interview With The President 2011”, where not only could I watch the speech, I could submit a question for the President (either in text or video form), along with hundreds of others who were doing the same. Obviously, this is not the same as sitting down with Obama and have a one-on-one discussion with him, but I thought it was interesting that not only could I ask my own question, I could see what other people were asking, as well as vote on questions that I felt were particularly good.

Selected questions were compiled and used for this interview with Obama:

In addition to the President’s responses, the White House also hosted roundtable discussions — again, prompted by viewers’ questions — on a variety of specific issues addressed in the President’s speech. This one is on education, and includes the Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:

Although it’s obvious the questions for the interview and roundtable discussion were pre-selected (even the ones that have nothing to do with being the President), I thought it was interesting that the White House is taking the time to reach out to Americans in a way that is increasingly familiar to us all — social networking.

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