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Obama to do YouTube, Google+ Hangout interview

Following president's State of the Union address, he'll use Google+ to talk to voters

Continuing his longstanding use of social networks, President Barack Obama is set to do an interview in a Google+ Hangout on Jan. 30.

Coming on the heels of Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday night, the interview will be held on Google+ and will be live streamed on YouTube. Google announced today that people can submit questions either via video or text on the White House YouTube channel through midnight ET Jan. 28.

People also can vote on their favorite questions. Those who submitted the most popular questions will be able to join the Google+ Hangout session with Obama and participate live in the interview.

"If you could hang out with President Obama, what would you ask him?" Ramya Raghavan, YouTube news and politics manager, asked in a blog post. "Would your question be about jobs or unemployment? The threat of nuclear weapons? Immigration reform? Whatever your question is, submit it on YouTube for the opportunity to ask the president directly in a special interview over a Google+ Hangout from the White House."

The interview with Obama will be streamed live at 5:30 p.m. ET Jan. 30.

This is far from Obama's first time using social networks. During the 2008 presidential campaign, Obama was quick to harness social networks, using sites like Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to energize supporters and organize volunteers.

On Inauguration Day 2008, the new Obama administration launched a redesign of the WhiteHouse.gov site, adding blogs and making it more interactive.

Since then, he has held online town halls and in 2009 he did a State of the Union follow-up interview, taking questions that online users posed on the WhiteHouse.gov Web site.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her e-mail address is sgaudin@computerworld.com.

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