In case it hadn’t already been made abundantly clear, the Obama administration has put an increasingly intense emphasis on Web 2.0 initiatives.
The president has announced plans for a YouTube event this week in which he will take questions from users about the current state and direction of the nation – think of it as a town hall meeting the entire YouTube community will be able to attend.
While a politician hosting a YouTube discussion is not unprecedented – it’s generally perceived as a campaign tactic aimed at increasing visibility to younger voters – this is a new move for a sitting president.
“The White House is using technology to make sure the President’s State of the Union Address reaches as many people as possible,” said White House Director of New Media Macon Phillips in a statement last week. “Now we are excited to announce how President Obama will also be using the web to offer the public a direct and participatory way to communicate back to him.”
While the event may not engage a particularly large segment of the population, the traditionally younger base that makes up socially media is an important demographic to maintain engagement with as poll issues mount for Obama.