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State of the Union: The White House Wants Us to Tune In Online

The State of the Union is going interactive, with an online-only "enhanced broadcast" of President Obama's remarks.

Do you watch the State of the Union? Millions of Americans do, although ratings for President Obama's 2011 address were down over the previous year.

I confess that I mostly do not watch the SOTU, and it makes no difference whether the commander-in-chief is one for whom I voted.

The SOTU is usually longer than it needs to be, and the constant ovations--with concurrent non-ovations by those who don't support the president--drive me to distraction.

Still, I know it's important to hear what the President has to say about how he and the country are doing, so I don't avoid the SOTU altogether.

How I usually "watch"

Please don't judge me too harshly, but my approach is as follows:

  • Check on the progress of the remarks during the commercial breaks of the program I am actually watching. 
  • Review my Twitter feed every few minutes to see how the people I follow are reacting.
  • Absorb the highlights and lowlights of the speech the following morning via NPR and/or CNN
  • Try to disregard opinions from pundits about the presidential performance

How I might try watching 

Even as I write this, I am not committing to watching the SOTU.

Still, as a digital journalist I would be remiss if I did not at least consider checking out the online "enhanced broadcast" that will be available.

  • Starting at 8 p.m. elements promised on the White House page dedicated to the SOTU include graphics, data and statistics that build on topics in President Obama's speech.
  • While you are watching, you can join a live discussion on Twitter using the hashtag #SOTU.
  • After the SOTU, a panel of senior advisors will answer your questions on Twitter. Use the Twitter hashtag @WHChat for that one.
  • AND, you can join in the discussion on the White House Facebook page as well.

Will you watch? Please share you thoughts in the comments section!

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