#SOTU

If you don't know what the title of this post means, please continue reading.??This is obviously not my first time witnessing the presidents annual* State of the Union address. As an informed citizen, I believe events such as these are critical to civic responsibility and action. There is nothing that will destroy this republic more surely than ignorant apathy. The true value and function of the State of the Union is debatable in that it is almost always filled with optimistic and promising rhetoric. But only the informed can see where rhetoric ends and action begins.

For several days, analysts and reporters have all made their predictions, judgements, and evaluations regarding Obama's speech. While I do hold opinions regarding the content of the message,??I do not really intend on making any judgements or criticisms of the President's speech here. Why? Mostly because I'm tired of it for today. But also because I found this SOTU to be more enjoyable than any other I've ever watched.

Like anything else, this speech can be best enjoyed in the company of good friends. While I sat alone in our living room after my girls were asleep, I had the next best thing – Twitter.

Before you pass judgement on me, let me explain… My PLN has been a source of constant quality learning. Since Twitter, I've stopped subscribing to blogs, discontinued visiting my iGoogle page, and had built a system of utilizing Tweets from those I follow in order to keep me up on what I should be reading. Twitter, therefore, has served as a information aggregator for me based on the great people I follow.

This evening during the SOTU, I found comfort in the communication shared from friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Whenever Mr. President mentioned education, comments, points, jokes, and disappointments were Tweeted and fed to my desktop, updated in read time. The hashtag, #SOTU, was used to further delineate Tweets specifically pertaining to the address. By doing so, this impromptu informal response to the speech becomes more remarkable. No planning was necessary to facilitate such engagement.

While the White House had stepped up it's role toward increasing public engagement in his State of the Union, no planned, organized, and funded communication tool could have functioned as well as this did in providing me with the best State of the Union I've experienced.

* The Constitution states that the President must "from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union" (Art. II, Sec. 3). This has generally been interpreted as annually.
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