@whitehouse takes on Twitter Town Hall

Obama to take questions on economy, jobs Wednesday

In another milestone, the White House will hold its first Twitter town hall forum on Wednesday.

President Barack Obama, known for using technology and Web 2.0 tools since his presidential campaign, will answer Twitter users' questions in a live webcast about the U.S. economy and jobs at 2 p.m. Eastern time on Wednesday. Twitter co-founder and Executive Chairman Jack Dorsey will moderate a conversation between Obama and Twitterers across the country.

Twitter users can submit questions using the hashtag #AskObama.

Some questions will be taken up in advance and others will be grabbed real-time during the event, according to Twitter.

In a blog post, executives at the microblogging service said a conversation about the U.S. economy will fit right in with regular Twitter activity.

"On Twitter you can find real-time conversations and information about every subject imaginable from across the world, including robust debate about the economy," read the blog post. "In fact, a study announced today by Salesforce.com's Radian6 found that financial security is one of the most frequent topics of political conversation on Twitter. Tomorrow's Town Hall is an invitation from the White House for anyone on Twitter to participate in an open exchange about the national and global economic issues facing the United States."

Anyone interested can follow the virtual town hall meeting in one of three ways: They can watch the event live online at http://askobama.twitter.com, follow live tweets from @townhall or search tweets with the hashtag #AskObama.

Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are taking on a great importance in the runup to the 2012 presidential election.

In April, Obama held a town hall meeting at Facebook's headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif. With Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg moderating the event, the president answered questions that people had posted online in addition to fielding queries from members of the live audience.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her email address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

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