(NECN: Ted McEnroe) – So what were you doing at 5:20 ET this morning? You could have been watching President Obama live in Turkey on your own live White House feed.
The White House continued its determined effort to make its workings directly accessible on the Internet, with a livestream of the President’s Town hall meeting with about 100 university students, which in itself was a pretty impressive event – an American president taking live questions from an audience in one of the world’s most critical Muslim countries. White House bloggers spent much of last night promoting the event, and the White House live channel at whitehouse.gov/live.
The video channel is one thing, but the Obama administration is going one step further – taking a page from the YouTube (or NECN.com) book. The live feeds are now embeddable on any webpage or blog, via the embed code seen at the bottom of the player. All you have to do is copy the code, paste it onto your site or into a post, and you have your own White House channel – albeit at a lower quality than the one available on whitehouse.gov.
As I mentioned – this is something NECN.com has been doing for some time – when we do livestreaming you can also embed that stream on your site, as Matt Noyes has a number of times – and create your own NECN Live channel. The embed codes are also available for any stories we post on the site. Help yourself – we’ll keep serving it up.
But back to the White House – they’re also reaching out to social networks worldwide in an effort to engage young people – the Turkish event was publicized on yonja.com, the Turkish social networking site.
It’s a start, but there are still more opportunities for the White House to truly engage. The White House still picks and chooses what speech texts and transcripts are made available – and if there is any disagreement or discussion on policy within the White House, you wouldn’t know it from the site. There is a notable lack of critiquing possibilities, no independent analysis available and still fairly limited opportunities for user-generated feedback. In short, it is still a relatively one-way street.
But it’s a start for a White House that is trying to reach its audience – both with and without the media’s help.