Obama to hold first virtual interview on Google+ Hangouts
Immediately after President Obama delivers his State of the Union address tomorrow his team, and a panel of senior advisors, will answer questions from the American public about the speech, which have been submitted under the hashtag #WHchat and on the White House Facebook page.
A timely boost for Google+ as people ask questions about who is using it.
The event will take place Monday, January 30, when Obama will join a special Google+ Hangout from the West Wing. He’ll answer several of the most popular questions that have been submitted through YouTube, and some of the people who submitted questions will be invited to join the President in the Hangout and take part in the live conversation. Here’s how you can participate:
- Starting today through January 28th, you can visit the White House YouTube channel to submit your questions and vote on your favorites.
- Tomorrow, watch the State of the Union live at 9:00 p.m. EST on YouTube.com/whitehouse or on WhiteHouse.gov/sotu
The Google+ Hangout with President Obama culminates a full week of online engagement with the White House. It also marks the first in a series of White House Hangouts that will cover a range of topics and issues. Follow the White House on Google+ for the latest on White House Hangouts.
The Obama team joined Google+ back in November and have been steadily building on it since as part of their overall digital and social media effort to re-elect the president. The President now has just under 300,000 followers, which is sure to surge ahead of his Google+ Hangouts appearance.
Macon Phillips, White House director of digital strategy, told the Washington Post that the White House would have no role in choosing the questions or participants in the Hangout: “For online engagement to be interesting, it has to be honest,” Phillips said. “We want to give Americans more control over this conversation and the chance to ask questions they care about.”
The Obama Hangouts appearance follows appearances by Republican presidential hopefuls including Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich.
Google’s Steve Grove, who is head of community partnerships for Google+, said that the Hangout element “will make for really personal conversation with the president that’s never really happened before. Whether it’s good for Google Plus or not, I guess viewers will decide by how well we pull it off”.