Obama to Host YouTube Forum

President Barack Obama will follow up his crucial State of the Union Address by fielding questions directly from the American public—via YouTube.

The president will sit down for an exclusive interview with YouTube some time next week, announced Google officials. And the questions that Obama will be asked will be derived straight from the YouTube community. During tomorrow’s (Jan. 27) State of the Union Address—which will be streamed live on YouTube’s Citizentube channel—viewers will be able to submit questions for the president.

Leading up to the YouTube interview, the community will be able to add more questions and vote on their favorites. YouTube officials will review the questions that receive the most votes and then select several to be posed to the president during the live YouTube interview, which will take place next week (official timing has yet to be announced).

The White House is also planning to stream Wednesday’s speech on its own site and will make it available via a free iPhone application.

But the administration is viewing the YouTube opportunity as a unique way to enable average citizens to take part in the address.

“When President Obama walks into the Capitol on Wednesday to deliver his State of the Union speech, millions of American viewers will tune in,” reads a blog posting on The White House site. “Now we are excited to announce how President Obama will also be using the web to offer the public a direct and participatory way to communicate back to him.”