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Obama’s @townhall Numbers

July 7, 2011 | By | One Comment

Twitter users submitted over 100,000 tweets during President Obama’s Town Hall Meeting. Only 60% (about 63k) of the tweets were actual questions for the President, the remaining tweets were considered to be commentary or promotional. Most of the topics discussed in the tweets were centered on the economy, jobs, housing market, and the legalization of marijuana, which surprised some viewers.

The legalization of marijuana was the only topic not discussed by the President.  The only reason I mention this is that the top question according to TwitSprout was, “Would you consider legalizing marijuana to increase revenue and save tax dollars by freeing up crowded prisons, court rooms?” This tweet was retweeted over 4,900 times! The second most retweeted question was on taxes and it was only shared 1,800 times.

Most of the tweets came from the eastern (34%) and central (23%) time zones, which is not surprising considering the webcast started around 11 a.m. PST. A majority of the tweets came from cities like Washington DC, New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles. The Twitter handle, @WashingtonDCTea sent over 170 tweets to the President Obama during the meeting (might have been overkill).

I watched most of the Town Hall, and I must say it was pretty hard to watch.  It started of with Obama answering his own Twitter question, which was odd but a good PR move.  The first question from William Smith asked President Obama about mistakes and he completely bypassed it.  I reached out to William, @conblog as he’s known on Twitter and let him know it was interesting how the President did not answer the first part of his question on mistakes.  His response back to me was priceless (image to the left). I feel like I was taught in elementary school everyday that “everyone makes mistakes” and that admitting to mistakes only made you stronger.

Social media makes everything transparent, and the Town Hall meeting was a great example of that.  It was a good move by the White House staff; but other than some fame on Twitter, what else did the American people take away from this event?  Share your thoughts on the Twitter Town Hall in the comment section below.

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