January 23rd, 2012
10:44 AM ET
President Obama isn’t just taking his State of the Union message on the road – he’s also taking it online.
In the latest iteration of the Obama administration’s efforts to connect to supporters via social media, the White House announced the president will participate next Monday in a Google+ ‘Hangout," a chat room-like feature of Google+ that allows users to connect with each other via video connections.
The White House pledges the president will answer “several of the most popular questions” submitted through YouTube while some questioners will be invited to participate in a live conversation on Google+.
The latest social media push follows a Twitter town hall the president held over the summer. To the disappointment of some, in that forum the president merely answered pre-selected questions from twitter users but did not respond on the social media website himself.
This time, the president’s answers will show up on a video stream hosted by Google+ while participants can comment on his answers in real time.
The White House says the upcoming forum is an example of the president’s commitment to “creating a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration.” But it remains unclear exactly how the White House will select the questions the president answers.
Obama also held a similar Facebook town hall at the web giant’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California in the Spring and a YouTube town hall at the White House in February. At both events, the White House was criticized for ignoring the subject that drew by far the most queries: whether he supports legalizing marijuana.
The ‘hangout’ follows a three day, five city tour later this week during which the president will echo the themes of his State of the Union Address.