Obama Answers Only 18 Tweets at First #AskObama Tweetup

As expected for the first time the president of the United States hosted a Twitter town hall at the White House. He only answered 18 questions in the usual political fashion of exceeding 140 characters allowed within a tweet message.

“I know, Twitter, I’m supposed to be short,” president Barack Obama admitted after another multi-layered reply to a question about the high cost of living.

As expected for the first time the president of the United States hosted a Twitter town hall at the White House. He only answered 18 questions in the usual political fashion of exceeding 140 characters allowed within a tweet message.

The social media event also marked the first ever White House “Tweetup”, which is “an in-person gathering of people who are connected through Twitter.” The White House invited around 30 people who follow the administration’s official Twitter account to come to Washington to be a part of the event.

The first of the Tweetup questions referred to the mistakes made in handling the recession. The answer was obviously longer than 140 characters allowed to tweet. More like 2,160 characters; however, it was comparably shorter by the president standards.

Obama handled tweets regarding immigration, college costs, collective bargaining rights, manufacturing jobs, the debt limit, the housing crisis and other numerous topics. The tweets were in the tens of thousands.

Town hall moderator, Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey selected the questions for the president to answer. He posed questions to Obama that arrived once the event began and read responses from those who answered the president’s own tweet.

Obama also asked Twitters to post their own ideas to help solve some of the country’s problems. Thousands of tweeters posted ideas like how to reduce the nation’s deficit, trim the war on drugs, cut defense contracting, stop giving money to Pakistan, cut oil subsidies and raise taxes.

Of course, we know the Tweetup is part of the broader scope of the president being up for re-election. It is imperative that he connect up with those using the communication platform, particularly younger voters, whose support he essential needs to win another term. I only wish the president was more sincere in actually using social media to help resolve some of your daily problems created by his administration.

All in all, the Tweetup at the White House was probably a good move by the presidential aides, who set up the event on social media. I only hope that we come to terms on how we can use social media to find real solutions to age-old problems that our politicians fail to solve.