Most of the country underestimates the influence of social media, which is understandable. Twitter can just as easily be a place to share a photo of your sandwich as it can be a place to engage in educated discourse. On December 3rd Obama took a small amount of time to head to Twitter to answer various questions that Twitter users (and American citizens) had about Obama’s proposed plan to extend middle-class tax cuts while ending them for those with $250,000+/yr incomes. See an overview of the conversation here.
Photo from the White House blog
A great thing about Twitter is that with hardly any time, effort, or money, you can reach a very large audience. You can also reach a young audience that doesn’t always have cable or a newspaper subscription. I applaud Obama, and his team who suggested this idea to him, for taking the time to use social media to engage an audience that may otherwise ignore this issue all together.
It’s one thing to use AMA on Reddit to answer questions before the election (which I also thought was a cool idea) but it’s even better that Obama has continued to use social media in an attempt to keep the country informed on his ideas and proposed policies. I’m happy that our President recognizes the potential impact that social media can have, and understands how to use it in an effective way.