President Barack Obama held a Twitter Townhall this week, in which he took questions from the Twitter community on topics ranging from the economy and the debt ceiling to partisan battles in Washington. Moderated by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Obama answered 18 questions, which were tweeted by Twitter users with the hashtag #askobama. Questions included came from citizens, but also from House Speaker John Boehner and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Boston Herald Chief Political Reporter Hillary Chabot interviewed me on the effectiveness of Obama’s social media ventures.
“Twitter is such a dynamic platform and that gets lost when all of the questions are pre-selected,” said Marcus Messner, a Virginia University professor who teaches about social media.
“I would have picked some random tweets from the Twitter feed so it doesn’t look so scripted,” he said.
What was supposed to be a cutting-edge way to interact with the president ended up as an hourlong platform for his talking points, said critics in yesterday’s Herald.
“It was effective from his perspective because he could circumvent journalists and directly communicate with the tech savvy youth who played a strong role in his election,” Messner said.