July 6, 2011

#AskObama @townhall @whitehouse

Posted by Dr. Laura Guertin

Wow, I did not see this one coming… although, I should not be surprised.  On July 6, 2011, President Obama posted his first tweet on The White House Twitter account (see below).

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This is what kicked off the first-ever Townhall at The White House:  http://askobama.twitter.com/

Before the events, everyone in the Twitter-universe was invited to #AskObama a question via Twitter.  Some tweets were selected and appeared on a screen during the event.  The President was not restricted to 140 characters in his responses (he responded verbally), but The White House twitter feed summarized each response in a few posts.

People were also able to apply to be one of 30 selected to attend the Townhall in person.  One of the Penn State Abington librarians was selected to be in the audience at The White House – how exciting for her!  Her story is definitely worth reading.  Here, I repeat Alexia Hudson’s statement that was the reason for her selection for the event:

Six days earlier, she and an unknown number of other @Whitehouse followers responded to a Tweet asking why they should be invited to the high-profile event. Hudson’s answer: Librarians are champions of equitable access to information and digital literacy yet they are rarely included in political discourse.

In addition to the official event website, several Storifies have been generated, capturing all the tweets.  Here is the link to one of many that summarizes the event.

I wonder if others will follow this format – “others” being, for example, the President of Penn State, CEO of a corporation, head of a nonprofit agency, etc.  What a wonderful way to connect with the net-connected generation.