5 Lessons From Yesterday's Facebook Town Hall*

April 20, 2011 - a historic day. The President of the United States sat down to do a live chat with the public, with Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg as moderator. (What a brand coup for FB, with that big banner sign...)

Normally impatient, I happily sat in front of the computer waiting for it to start. I was literally clapping at how cool it was.

I "checked in" and watched for a few minutes - the intro speeches by Sheryl Sandberg and question #1. Read the comments in the chat alongside. Here are my key takeaways:

1. People LOVE interacting with the govt. on social media. But their expectations are high and they are vocal if disappointed.

2. You can trust the audience to self-correct members of the community who are rude, inappropriate, etc.

3. Suit and tie on Facebook looks overdressed.

4. Q and A must be very short. Quantity better than perfect quality answer. Need to find balance in answers between simple and substantive.

5. Need to get to the point, fast - intro of prominent audience members could be done at the end.

Overall I thought the President was pretty brave to put himself out there like that. (I am not sure I could handle the spotlight, the pressure, and the criticism.) I respect the effort and look forward to seeing others follow in his footsteps.

Who knows...one day we could be watching town halls with life-size 3D holographic avatars!

The future of communication is all about social interaction - emotional intelligence - played out on a digital stage.

What did YOU think?


*Note: I work for the government but all opinions, as always, are my own.