Introducing First Question

Most people who have watched a daily press briefing from the White House Press Secretary have probably thought at one time or another “I’d like to ask the White House a question!”

Well, here's your chance! Today we launched a new type of online engagement called "First Question" that uses Twitter to collect your questions for the WH Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to answer. Here's a video of today's answer:

While we'll constantly look for ways to improve it, here's how First Question will work for now:

  1. In the morning, Robert will ask for that day's questions in a post to his @PressSec Twitter account. Although this won't happen everyday, it will be pretty frequently so be sure to subscribe to his account and the WhiteHouse's main Twitter account (@WhiteHouse) to find out when it does.
  2. Once he's posted, anyone can fire away with questions using the hashtag #1q.
  3. Over the next hour or two we'll collect all of the questions, record his answers and post the video.

Even though every question can't get answered (looks like over 300 tweets with #1q were posted today) we'll try to choose questions from a broad variety of perspectives. But even the questions we can't get to are tremendously valuable to understanding what's on people's minds.

And while everyone here is excited about this new type of online engagement, it's worth pointing out that there are even more opportunities to ask questions and learn about what's happening at the White House. In fact, in a few minutes (at 7pmEDT), the Official White House photographer, Pete Souza, is going to take your questions about some of the photos he's snapped and on Tuesday next week at 1pm EDT, Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications, and Jeff Bader, Senior Director for Asian Affairs, will chat about the President’s upcoming foreign travel.

There are constantly new events being set up, and the best way to stay current is to subscribe to the White House's Daily Snapshot.

Whether it's using Google Moderator to vote on YouTube questions for President Obama, Facebook to chat with David Axelrod or Twitter to take a crack at Robert Gibbs, we're constantly looking for new ways to use technology to connect Americans with their White House. And if you have any ideas or feedback along these lines, we'd love to hear it -- in the spirit of this post, you can reach me at @macon44.