President Obama will answer questions submitted to YouTube next Thursday January 27th, two days after he delivers his State of the Union address, according to an announcement posted on the online video site today.
YouTube is asking that viewers submit questions by recording roughly 20-second videos, though it is also accepting text-based questions. (The site asks questioners to try to cut down on background noise and keep the camera steady.) People have until midnight Wednesday to submit questions, which they can do here. YouTube is also planning a similar Q&A with a "prominent Republican leader" as well as other world leaders.
Mr. Obama participated in a similar YouTube Q&A early last year, spending 30 minutes answering a selection of 11,000 questions submitted.
In March 2009, the president held an online town hall meeting in which he answered questions submitted to the White House web site. Visitors were allowed to rate questions, and the top-rated questions in the "budget" and "fiscal stability" sections of the submissions page concerned the legalization of marijuana. Mr. Obama- he said he opposes legalization - and to joke about the popularity of the question, stating, "I don't know what this says about the online audience."
YouTube also allows users to rate questions - though the site notes that Mr. Obama will answer "a selection of your top-voted questions," which gives YouTube the option of weeding out any popular marijuana queries.