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State of the Union: one of a kind and truly interactive

My earliest memories of listening to the State of the Union address date back to childhood. I was sitting beside my grandfather and we were watching it broadcast live on our television set. That was about as hip and high tech as it got. If we had a reaction, we grumbled about it for a bit and debated sending a letter to our representative.  Given the effort that  it would take, other responsibilities in life, etc., it just didn’t get done.

However, all that is about to change with tonight’s address. The Obama presidency has been fascinating to watch from a social media perspective. The White House is constantly finding ways to leverage any and every social media tool and the geek inside me is absolutely thrilled. Tonight’s address will introduce a brand new tool called “Citizen Response” and is dubbed the first truly interactive State of the Union address. Citizen Response will allow viewers of the address to respond in real time as the President takes stage and addresses our nation. If a certain part of the address affects you, you’ll be allowed to send messages to the Obama administration in real time.

In preparation for tonight’s address, the Obama administration has also launched a petition website called We the People. This website will allow you to view pending legislation and make comments on them. However, the fun doesn’t stop there. During the address, 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. The streaming webcast will also be available on the White House website and on White House mobile apps.

If you’re not in a position to watch in front of your television set or via a radio, don’t fret. The White House has got you covered via social media. To get the entire experience, prepare your timeline and start following @WHLive and the @Whitehouse twitter accounts.  If you’re following your representative on Twitter, you might want to also watch his/her Twitter account as many of them tend to tweet their reactions live. And if you do happen to find a TV monitor somewhere, tune into C-SPAN2 where live Twitter reactions from the House of Representatives and the Senate will be displayed.

Join the Twitter debate and make your voice heard using the following hashtags: #SOTU and #WHChat. Immediately after the address, a team from the Obama administration will be on standby to address tweets and yours might be acknowledged. If you have something specific to say, use the following hashtags to make your tweets stand out: #jobs, #manufacturing, #energy, #education, #fairness, #taxes. 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.

If you’re a multi-tasker, watching on TV, and also tweeting away, be sure to install our social sentiment plugin on Chrome and track real-time sentiment analysis.  Will you be watching the State of the Union address? How are you planning to share your reactions? Let us know in the comments below.

 

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