New York Times on @Sweden

Here is a front page article in today’s New York Times about my old home country and about @Sweden — “Swedes’ Twitter Voice: Anyone, Saying (Blush) Almost Anything.”

Funny place, Sweden, the paper seems to think. Check it out!

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170,000 questions to Obama on Twitter Town Hall

President Obama received nearly 170,000 questions via Twitter during his first Twitter Town Hall at the White House today.

Only a fraction of these could be answered during the webcast session, which lasted an hour and ten minutes. Obama’s verbal responses were generally very much longer than the maximum of 140 characters for the written questions. At one point, Obama apologized for his long answers but made no serious attempt to stay under Twitter’s maximum limit.

The Town Hall was similar to previous discussions with social media, which Facebook and YouTube hosted. We will surely see many more events with social media during this increasingly intense election campaign.

Here is a good summary in Washington Post’s online edition of today’s Town Hall. It contained no direct news but gave a good insight into how the President looks at the past two and a half years in the White House and what he believes is now necessary to create new jobs and solve the country’s economic crisis.

Obama’s first Twitter Town Hall

The news about President Obama’s first Twitter Town Hall later today has been noticed far and wide, judging from the request earlier today for me to participate in the program Studio One on Swedish Radio.

Why is Obama doing this? How will it work? Who will ask the questions? Will this be a new phenomenon in the American election campaign?

You need to know Swedish to listen, of course, but here is the link.

The reasons for the Twitter Town Hall can be found in the facts that the number of Americans using social media has nearly doubled since 2008 and that the users have gotten older – almost half are now over 35 years of age. In addition, according to Pew Research Center, users of social media are more politically engaged than Americans in general.

Over two million people follow the White House on Twitter, an important audience to target, which explains today’s Town Hall.