Chat with Obama Administration Officials This Week Via the White House Live Application

President Barack Obama’s administration is utilizing Facebook to participate in question and answer sessions on a number of topics, with White House and government officials making themselves available for live chats with Facebook users this week.

The White House Live application, apparently developed in-House, allows Facebook users to pose questions on a number of governmental topics. As with other integrations of Facebook’s live-streaming service, this one lets you chat with everyone else who’s watching on Facebook, or just your Facebook friends.

The administration is posting about each chat ahead of time on the official administration blog; halfway through the week, however, only 8,000 or so people have added the app.

The live chats are happening every day this week. EPA administrator Carol Browner led off the series Monday by answering questions about clean energy. Ben Rhodes of the National Security Council fielded questions about foreign policy and domestic security yesterday. The program continues today at 12 p.m. EST as Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius addressing health care, a topic that could garner a massive deal of interest given the ongoing debate over health care reform — however, it looks like this one’s been cancelled due to what the White House site says is a scheduling conflict. Tomorrow, Federal Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra will discuss ways in which President Obama has changed Washington with Norm Eisen, special counsel to the President for ethics and government reform. The series wraps up Friday at 1 p.m. EST when Christina Romer, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers, speaks on the administration’s efforts to decrease unemployment.

However, the app is also showing live broadcasts of other White House press events, providing a way for users to talk to each other about ongoing news. We’re not sure if the app is going to stay live after this week concludes, but we hope and assume so.

The live chats are the latest use of Facebook by the White House. Obama saw significant traction on Facebook during his presidential campaign; and, his administration has been increasing its presence on the network since last March. The official White House Facebook Page currently has more than 430,000 fans and offers everything from candid photos of the president to video and slideshare presentations.

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