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Thursday, March 26, 2009

A look at President Barack Obama's Town Hall Meeting

The Questions have poured in at President Barack Obama's Town Hall Meeting. As reported by CNet.com, President Barack Obama is turning directly to the public to win support for his economic proposals in ways unseen from any president before him, and on Tuesday he continued that by introducing a new feature on WhiteHouse.gov called "Open for Questions."

The new feature, modeled after the "Open for Questions" tool on Change.gov, allows users to ask a question about the economy, as well as vote for or against others' questions. On Thursday morning, the president will hold an online town hall meeting on the economy, streamed on WhiteHouse.gov, and answer some of the most popular questions from the tool.

"One of my priorities as president is opening up the White House to the American people so that folks can understand what we're up to and have a chance to participate themselves," Obama says in an introductory video at the "Open for Questions" page. "We're going to take advantage of the Internet to bring all of you to the White House to talk about the economy...This is an experiment, but it's also an exciting opportunity for me to look at a computer and get a snapshot of what Americans across the country care about. We may not always agree on everything, but this way, I can get a sense of your concerns and give you some straight answers."

After visitors set up an account on WhiteHouse.gov by submitting their name, e-mail address, zip code, and choosing a password, they can submit or review questions in a number of different categories related to the economy: jobs, health care reform, education, home ownership, veterans, auto industry, financial stability, green jobs and energy, retirement security, small business, and budget.

The terms of participation notify users that the tool is hosted by Google but that WhiteHouse.gov owns and has access to the data related to the questions and voting, which will be treated in accordance with the WhiteHouse.gov privacy policy. It also says Google never receives the e-mail addresses submitted and does not store the IP addresses related to the tool. More HERE

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