White House Announces It's 'Open for Questions'
By Jose Antonio Vargas
And the online masses breathes a (slight) sigh of relief.
This afternoon, WhiteHouse.gov launched "Open for Questions," an interactive page where users can post questions on the economy and vote the submitted questions up or down. The site will continue taking questions until Thursday, when President Obama will go online to answer those that received the most votes.
It's unclear how long Obama will be online on Thursday and how many questions he will answer. But this much is clear: expect a herd of organized (and unorganized) Web users to stampede WhiteHouse.gov and make it a highly trafficked political hub over the next 48 hours.
About 30 minutes after a White House spokesman announced the launch of "Open for Questions" in an e-mail, 48 people had submitted 25 questions and cast 219 votes. To participate, users are asked to register and sign up on the site and read a 399-word Terms of Service.
"One of my priorities as president is opening up the White House to the American people, so folks can understand what we're up to and have a chance to participate themselves," Obama said in a nearly a minute and a half video message announcing the question time. Obama called the effort "an experiment," echoing the sentiment of Macon Phillips, the White House new media director.
Posted at 7:40 PM ET on Mar 24, 2009
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