Emerging Tech

The State of the Union Goes Interactive

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in 2010.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union address in 2010. // Tim Sloan/AP

The White House is planning a series of digital follow-ons to Tuesday night’s State of the Union address, including a tool called Citizen Response that people can use to share specific parts of the speech through social media.

People using Citizen Response will also be able to send the Obama administration messages describing how specific parts of the address affect them, according to a White House blog post Monday.

The Obama administration has launched several initiatives to make policymaking more interactive, including its citizen petition website We the People. The state of Washington is experimenting with a system that allows citizens to comment directly on pieces of pending legislation.

President Obama will also participate in a virtual town hall on Thursday using Google Plus’s hangout feature, the White House said. During the town hall, Obama will answer citizens’ questions chosen by Google about his State of the Union priorities. Vice President Biden participated in a similar hangout to discuss the administration’s gun control proposals in January.

For the remainder of the week, White House and Cabinet officials will answer questions posted to Twitter during live webcasts as part of the White House’s Open for Questions series.

The White House plans to stream a data-enriched version of the State of the Union address with graphs and charts backing up the president’s main points on its YouTube, Facebook and Google Plus pages, as it did last year. The streaming webcast will also be available on the White House website and on White House mobile apps. 

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// October 23
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