Jack Dorsey, co-founder of Twitter, moderated the event, beginning the session by pointing out that President Obama’s name appears in more than half of the conversations that take place on Twitter.
After being introduced by Dorsey, the President made his way down the aisle to the laptop where he logged in to begin reading questions selected by eight curators.
Using a hash tag followed by “askobama,” users asked the President a number of questions related to the economy and the job market.
Mass Relevance, a technology provider in social curation and social streaming, teamed up with Twitter to wade through the thousands of tweets to determine which were of the most relevance and general interest, based on factors like an algorithmic analysis of recurring subject matter along with what had been retweeted or “favorited.” This made it possible to intelligently manage the live tweets appearing on the Town Hall homepage, while also bringing popular trending topics to the President and participants during the event.
Sam Decker, CEO of Mass Relevance, said it was an honor to work on such a significant and innovative event. “Whether it is entertainment, publishing or politics, real-time social content is a critical component to any viewer-driven experience,” he added in a statement.
The first question asked came from @drewHapshire, who tweeted “What mistakes have you made in handling this recession and what would you do differently?” Obama responded, stating that he would have explained “to the American people that it was going to take a while for us to get out [of the recession].”
Other users tweeted their concerns about the future of small businesses, tax cuts, homeowners, collective bargaining rights and clean energy from users ranging from politicians, a prize-winning columnist and the general public.
Before the session began, Steven Norton, editor of The Daily Tar Heel at the University of North Carolina, worked to gather questions from young people who were concerned about the job market after graduation.
“The questions that I hope will reach the president will be a lot about job trends, what jobs will be available for seniors coming out of college and what initiatives are being taken to provide job opportunities,” he said.
http://tinyurl.com/3pq5cy9 (New York Times)
http://tinyurl.com/3oacus6 (Mass Relevance)