Everyone who intends to watch President Obama speak about the Gulf oil spill on TV tonight may also want to be near a computer monitor 15 minutes later. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has said he’ll answer user-submitted questions on YouTube in front of what has the potential to be a more global audience.
Individuals with YouTube or Google accounts can submit questions on the White House’s YouTube channel using Google Moderator. The same tech then makes it possible for people to vote questions up and down, which is important since Gibbs presumably won’t have time to address every issue.
Gibbs did promise in a short video that you can watch for yourself below, though, "I’m going to take questions directly from you right after the president is done speaking to the nation and addressing the Gulf oil spill at 8 PM Eastern Time."
This is a decent way for the administration to show it’s trying to take everyone’s views and suggestions into account as we move towards day 60 of the crisis. The step also represents a strong endorsement of YouTube, even if Press Secretary Gibbs isn’t quite President Obama and the circumstances could be better.
So far, Google Moderator has tallied 29,576 votes on 1,349 questions, perhaps signaling that lots of regular people approve of YouTube, Google Moderator, and this overall approach, as well.