Twitter at the State of the Union address

Todd Vandenbark

Librarians in the News logoOne of my favorite bloggers, The Librarian In Black (a.k.a. Sarah Houghton) had the opportunity to participate in a “State of the Union Tweet-Up” last night, which she describes in her latest post, “Ms. Librarian Goes to Washington.” The event included a tour of the White House, and then Houghton and a select few got to have a Q & A “with Aneesh Chopra, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, other technology advisor folks, and a surprise visit with Mike Krieger, co-founder of Instagram.” Sarah even got to ask a question about copyright!

I jumped in with the second question and asked how the administration planned to address the failed system of copyright in a digital media age, particularly the restrictive DMCA, and cited how some vendors refuse to sell digital content to libraries. Chopra’s practiced very political response was that copyright was a macro-policy issue, and then he talked about the administration’s work on sharing and open data standards through leading by example-their work on the Learning Registry and other open education and data initiatives (check out all the stuff at He did use the phrase “metadata standards,” which literally made me shiver. I guess I am a true librarian nerd girl at heart (as if there was any doubt)! Other questions asked about healthcare records, open data standards, SOPA and PIPA, broadband, delegating some of the wireless spectrum to public safety officials, resources for primary education, and more.

Her blog entry was written prior to the actual address, so it will be interesting to see what it was like to “tweet” with an estimated 50 other people at this constitutionally-required event.

Have you ever participated in a major political event such as this using Twitter or other social media? Tell us about it!