U.S. President Barack Obama used social media cemented his image as the first social media president this week as he answered questions asked by the public in an online chat on Reddit. While his opponent Mitt Romney was in Tampa, Florida accepting the Republican nomination at the GOP convention, the social networking president typed “Hey everybody! This is Barack”. He then went on to report that he had just left a rally in Virginia and was eager to answer any questions posed to him.
While Obama was chatting, he ignored silly questions asked such as “Do you like cats?”. He wanted to put the focus of the chat on politics since the US presidential election is just weeks away. Obama told those online that his administration will work hard to ensure that the world wide web remains an open forum that can be used by everyone.
Obama Used Social Media to Chat to Voters
When done chatting, Obama said that the conversation was a good example of how technology and the web can enable the types of conversations that make a democracy strong. He also said that the entire Reddit experience was “not too bad!”. Reddit has about 40 million users who are able to make comments on news stories and take part in chats. Obama’s time on Reddit this week highlights his extensive use of social media. In 2011, the president took part in a town hall meeting on Twitter from the White House. Before Wednesday’s chat Obama tweeted about the event, telling his millions of Twitterfollowers that he was going to be available to take questions. Some of those chatting with the president made jokes and wise-cracks as they apparently didn’t believe that they were actually chatting with him.
President Obama definitely added another notch to his social media belt after taking part in the Reddit chat. The entire chat lasted about a half an hour. During that time Obama quickly read through hundreds of questions, answering just a handful on all types of topics ranging from protecting internet freedom to family issues. Obama’s unexpected appearance on Reddit led to a traffic jam on the site which temporarily locked many users out. At one point, there were 30,000 users on the page. In total, there were over 200,000 visitors to Reddit Wednesday which was a record breaker for the site.
Social media is a valid, powerful and growing outlet for politicians to use. Politicians and governments from around the world are now turning to social media to spread messages, share information and to converse with large groups of people. In this week’s international news, the government of Japan announced that it is engaging in talks about devising an official social media emergency response system. The earthquake-prone country is one of the world’s most social-media savvy nations. Japan wants to be able to use social media to relay information quickly following national disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis.
This article is written by Erich.He has also commented on what does rt mean on twitter