Obama's State Of The Union To Utilize Technology

Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are among the social networking and video platform the administration will use to connect with the public during and after the president's annual speech.
Obama's Tech Tools
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Slideshow: Obama's Tech Tools

Taking a page out of his own open government strategy, President Obama will be leveraging various social-media sites and Web features so people can connect online with him and White House staff during and after his State of the Union address.

The cornerstone of Obama's IT strategy in his first two years in office has been the Open Government Directive, a mandate for the federal government to foster more transparency and engagement with the public and also to allow people to participate more in government through the use of technology.

To support these tenets of the plan, the White House is using the Web to make this year's State of the Union speech -- scheduled for 9 p.m. EST Tuesday -- the most interactive to date.

People can access a series of features like charts and statistics during a live stream of the presidents address to help them understand key points he makes during the speech, according to a White House blog post. The stream and the tools will be available on the White House Web site. There also will be a series of online public-engagement opportunities following the speech. The president himself will be available for questions from the public via a live YouTube event on Thursday at 2:30 p.m. EST, according to another White House blog post. People can submit questions for the president before the event via the video-sharing site.

Immediately following the live stream of the speech Tuesday, the White House will hold a live Open for Questions event with several of Obama's senior officials via Twitter. Officials available to answer questions that people can submit online include Brian Deese, deputy director of the National Economic Council; Roberto Rodriguez, special assistant to the president for education policy; David Smias, director and aide to the presidents senior advisor; and Ben Rhodes, deputy national security advisor for strategic communications.

People can submit questions for the event on Twitter by replying to @whitehouse using the hashtag #sotu, on the White House Facebook page, or via the White House webform.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also will be open for questions from the public via Twitter, accepting questions before his post-State of the Union briefing on Wednesday. To find out when Gibbs will field questions, people should follow Gibbs' Twitter feed, @PressSec, then respond to the same using the hashtag #1Q and keep an eye on the feed for his video responses.

Facebook also will come into play as part of Obama's State of the Union engagement plan. The White House will host a series of Facebook roundtable events with policy experts Thursday throughout the day between 11:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST to discuss key issues.

People can submit questions during the roundtables or beforehand via various partner sites like MSNMoney,,, and others. A complete schedule of events is available on the White House blog.

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