Obama connects music fans on Facebook

White House stream adds element of conversation through popular social networking site

Technology trends and news by Ronny Kerr
July 22, 2009
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/97f

Yesterday at 7:00 PM EST, the official White House blog announced “Something Special for the Country Music Fans.”

About a half hour later, a feed went live on the Web site’s video stream page of President Obama delivering a quick few words before country stars Charley Pride, Brad Paisley, and Alison Krauss and Union Station took center stage. These performanceWhite House Facebook Streams mark the second event in the White House Music Series, first introduced by First Lady Michelle Obama last month.

While anyone could merely watch the video on the White House Web site, Obama’s team also made the live feed available through a page on Facebook where users could comment on the video while watching the performances.

This is far from the first time that the White House has taken advantage of social media networking.

In fact, just last Friday, the administration announced an upcoming news conference through a Twitter message. That tweet, in turn, is just a drop in the torrent of information that President Obama and his team have chosen to make available through social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

And judging by the number of appreciative comments that rolled in every few seconds during the live feed, it looks like Facebook users love the White House’s use of technology and its force in bringing people together: “Lenese Herbert isn't even a fan of Country and Western! Yet, this live streaming from the East Room is WONDERFUL.”

Not only that, but other people appear to be pleased just sharing an experience with a man in such a distant and powerful position: “Angela Howard is enjoying watching a concert with the President. :)”

As advanced as the stream seemed, theVoice Confusion implementation was a little bit rough around the edges. I made a comment during Alison Krauss' performance, which users watching the live feed probably understood perfectly. What didn’t make sense was Facebook’s publishing of the update on my profile page, like any regular old update. This was just one little kink in the system that probably caused confusion for a significant amount of people.

Regardless, the hour-long event proves once again that, despite what anybody thinks of the politics and platform of our current administration, its fearlessness in experimenting with and embrace of social media is something to be applauded.

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