Wednesday, July 6, 2011

MEDIA: Obama's Twitter town hall to focus on the state of economy. Q&As are welcome

Today, on Wednesday, July 6, 2011 @ 2PM EST (Washington, DC/NYC) President Barack Obama will answer questions about the economy and jobs during his first Twitter town hall meeting. 

Twitter users are being asked to tweet their questions to the hashtag #AskObama.
You can follow all in-real time town hall updates and messages at @townhall.

It’s not the first time Obama uses the new technology during his speeches. He’s known to be using Facebook in his previous online in-real time discussions with the public. His Twitter account is managed by his pre-election 2012 staff, so any questions @BarakObama will not go directly to Obama’s home laptop (mind it.)

According to the White House administration (per spokesman Jay Carney - who has 207 600 followers on his Twitter):

1.    Obama will not be confined to Twitter's 140-character limit: known for his rather elaborate lengthy responses to questions, 140-characters is not enough. All his answers will be converted into short, concise messages and tweeted by the staff.
2.    Obama will not be just answering the questions. He's not going to be typing and tweeting as he speaks: with the exception of questions coming from Twitter users -- known as tweeps -- the East Room town hall event will be like many the president has done before: fielding select questions conveyed via new media technologies while giving "old-fashioned" answers with a microphone.
3.    Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey to monitor the expected flood of tweets through the official #AskObama hashtag.
4.    Questions addressed during the town hall will be selected both in advance and in real-time during the event (per Twitter statement).
White House officials have said the so-called "Tweetup" is a fresh opportunity for the president to engage with Americans beyond the Beltway.
This is not the first time Obama engaged the new technologies during his speeches. Obama held a similar town hall at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, last April and a YouTube town hall at the White House in February.
As of the moment (10:35 AM EST, July 6, 2011), Obama’s twitter account  has almost 9 million followers, which is a rather interesting – eclectic combination of personalities:  from the President of Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev (@MedvedevRussia) to Cathy Horyn (@CathyHorynNYT), fashion critic of The New York Times and Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan), The Hoste of the CNN’s “Piers Morgan Tonight” Show.
What question would you ask Obama?

P.S. I’ll be following town hall meeting today as well. Find me here.

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