State of the Union to Continue on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter & Google+
Blackberry-addicted President Barack Obama has been hitting every stop on the Internet – with not just Facebook and Twitter accounts, but also a page on hip blogging site Tumblr and an account on Google’s new social network, Google+.
All those outlets, but especially Twitter and Google+, will be part of tonight’s State of the Union speech extravaganza, as will the White House mobile app.
You can probably get the most out of the address by not watching it on TV – but online instead. Both WhiteHouse.gov and the mobile app will have an “enhanced” version of the speech with charts, graphs and other info goodies showing up next to the live video of the president speaking. (The mobile app is available for iPhone and Android phones. Ironically, no Blackberry.)
During and right after the speech, you can shoot questions to the White House on its Facebook [http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHouse] and Google+ pages to get answers from administration officials. You can also tweet. Just type your question into the status field and add “#WHChat” at the end, so the White House tech folks can find it. For good measure, toss in the “#SOTU” hashtag as well.
Both hashtags were pretty quiet this morning, with most posts just being reminders from various people to watch the speech tonight. But Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was delivering Occupy-Wall-Street-style messages such as “Hedge fund managers who made a billion dollars in 2010 now pay a lower effective tax rate than many teachers.” And America's Natural Gas Alliance bought an ad (a promoted Tweet).
It doesn’t end tonight. All day Wednesday, a press secretary with the trustworthy name “John Earnest” will take questions over Twitter. Also on Wednesday, as well as Thursday and Friday, officials will hold virtual “office hours.” For example, senior adviser Christine Koronides answers questions about small business from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday. The full schedule is available on the White House State of the Union page.
Next Monday, you have a chance to talk to the big guy himself. Submit questions on the White House YouTube channel anytime this week. Those with the highest-rated questions will get invited to a group video chat with the president on Google+.
If you want to keep up on State of the Union but don’t want to listen to the blather of anchors and pundits on TV, skip over to the Web. You still might not like the answers, but at least you get to pose the questions.