#AskObama: Twitter TownHall Advice for the Unemployed/99ers


White House Twitter Town Hall is WED. JULY 6 @2PM EST. Yes the 99ers are a twitter saavy group. I write this because I know they will use this information wisely. There was a conference call today put on by the White House regarding tomorrow’s Twitter town hall.  To ask questions use #AskObama. But let’s keep it real: If the President starts fielding questions about the White House chef or something we’ll know this thing was rigged.  Actually, I think the folks at the White House are truly interested in fielding real questions.  Though on today’s conference call, someone mentioned that the Facebook event featured Mark Zuckerburg selecting questions.  Twitter creator Jack Dorsey will be on hand for this event but it doesn’t look like he’ll filter the questions.  One can only hope.  With 13 million Americans out of work a few unemployment related questions are bound to come up.  Today it was hard to pin down exactly who will filter the questions for tomorrow’s event.  But one thing is for sure: It must be someone from either the White House or Twitter.

2PM East Room
President Obama

Several reporters asked who exactly is picking (read: filtering) the questions on today’s conference call. The White House’s Dan Pfeiffer responded that Twitter was selecting the questions.  However, minutes later, a second reporter stated that they’d already asked Twitter if they were controlling the questions — and of course — Twitter said the White House is controlling the questions.  Bottom line:  No way is the White House letting a second party control the questions right? Even if they weren’t standing over the person there must be some guidelines, right?  Even if there aren’t stated guidelines, it’s foolish to think the guest/host Twitter people would ask the President anything too challenging.

Twitter creator Jack Dorsey

The other bit of info to be aware of is that Twitter will be tracking what is trending before and during the town hall. With that it mind it pays to write questions that use certain words. If you’re a 99er, you may want to use “99er,” “unemployment,” “HR589,” “jobs,” and so on.  If a certain topic is trending it is likely that a question on that subject will be selected. Obviously thousands of questions are rolling through Twitter… so the more questions sent in on unemployment better the chances and unemployment question will be asked. Flood the box?

And one last thing: The President will not answer in 140 characters. He will answer questions from Twitter users but will doso by spoken word.  That matters because this President tends to give looooooong answers at press conferences. The longer his answers, the fewer questions will get in.  President Obama will answer via microphone but will not be tweeting or typing online. The event will take place in the East Room at 2PM EST.