Newsweek will host a live Q&A with Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner on Facebook this afternoon. Jon Meacham will be conducting the interview from the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Monday at 1 p.m. EST, and Newsweek will be driving viewers to its Facebook page to discuss the interview and post updates in real time.
While this interview is a wonderful opportunity for anyone to gain some insight on how one of the most influential people in the country is tackling the economic problems of the day, it does appeal more to slightly different demographic than your “traditional” Facebook user. Many of the 800-plus Facebook users that have confirmed their attendance seem to be among 25-and-older crowd, and they’ve already posted questions and left remarks.
The fact that Newsweek is promoting this interview through Facebook does make a strong statement on the emerging shift in how publishers and news organizations are using Pages. Many current and potential political figures are putting a lot of time and effort into utilizing Facebook to reach voters and constituents. It’s a powerful tool to post public appearances, push political agendas, and to keep his or her name in people’s minds on a regular basis.
Secretary Geithner’s interview on Facebook is also an attempt to reach out to a younger demographic, something the Obama administration has made obvious attempts to do — President Obama currently has the most popular page on Facebook and ranks fifth among the most-followed Twitter users. As more and more people of all ages and walks of life turn to social media sites for news and information, it’s going to become more of a necessity for public officials to take an active role in forums like Facebook where there’s an opportunity for more ineraction between the people and the politicians.