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Obama to host Fireside Hangout after State of the Union

President hosted Hangout session after last year's speech too

Technology trends and news by Steven Loeb
February 11, 2013 | Comments
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/2d81

(Updated to reflect comment from Google)

Let's be honest here: Barack Obama does not really have to worry all that much about what the American people think anymore. We limit our Presidents to two terms, so that, if they get a second term, they can basically do whatever they want. Or they can try to at least, hoping Congress will let them. The President will never run for national office again, so what reason does he have to try to please us?

That is why it is nice to know that a President actually does care (or at least is willing to pretend to, if you want to be cynical about it). 

Two days after giving his State of the Union Address Tuesday night, President Obama will be holding a Google+ "Fireside Hangout" session on Thursday at 4:50 P.M. EST, in which he will take questions from the public, Google said in a blogpost Monday.

It can be viewed on the White House Google+ page or YouTube channel.

"Much like the Fireside Hangouts held by Vice President Biden and Domestic Policy Director Cecilia Munoz over the past few weeks, the President’s Fireside Hangout will include a group of people who regularly discuss important issues of the day online," Ramya Raghavan, head of Google Plus Politics, wrote.

Those participants who get to ask the President a question will be selected beforehand, but Google is also asking users to go to the White House YouTube channel and submit their own video or text question questions for the President.

"We are still finalizing all of the participants, but we selected individuals who are active in their online communities, speak directly with other Americans about the issues and have a diverse range of backgrounds and perspectives," a Google spokesperson told VatorNews.

Some of the user solicited questions will be also be used to "guide the discussion."

Users can submit questions until 11:59 p.m. ET on Wednesday, February 13.

Obama's other online Q&As

This is far from the first time that President Obama has gone on the Internet to take questions directly from the people.

In fact, this is becoming something a tradition for President Obama, as he held a Hangout session after last year's State of the Union Address, in which more than 227,000 people either asked a question or voted for their favorite.

In August 2012, President Obama held an AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Reddit, which resulted in page views so high that it crashed the site.

The Q&A session drew 3.8 million page views just on the first page alone, as well as more than 23,600 comments. The Obama AMA received some 219,500 up votes and 215,900 down votes.

Vice President Biden held a Fireside Hangout last month, in which he discussed issue relating to gun violence and how to reduce it. The YouTube page with the full session currently has over 1,500 comments.

This is obviously a White House that, agree with their policies or not, is making itself open to hearing what people have to say.

(Image source: http://www.computerweekly.com)


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