WASHINGTON, D.C. — The giant illuminated map of the United States has been hung and lit just so, the chairs are all in their rows, and a studio that was bare just days ago was buzzing with intense activity Wednesday night (October 13) as cast and crew prepared for MTV News and BET News production "A Conversation With President Obama," airing live Thursday at 4 p.m. ET/PT.
The crew has done its part, President Obama has been briefed by his team, and now it's your turn to do some heavy lifting.
Whether it's cyberbullying, the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, education, taxes, the economy, job creation or some other issue that's on your mind, you can ask the president about his plans to address the situation. He will be taking questions from Twitter, as well as the live audience, during Thursday's conversation. From now through the live show, tweet your questions with the hashtag #askjobs or #askeconomy (or another topic that's important to you). Starting Wednesday, you can also visit the Twitter Tracker to submit your question and see which #ask topics are trending with other users.
We're not just looking for your questions, though. We're also interested in how you're feeling about the country, the world and your own lives. We want to hear from you about your greatest hopes and fears, so tweet your answer to those questions to #mygreatesthope and #mygreatestfear, and your thoughts might get read during the live broadcast.
In the meantime, you can follow all the action on the Twitter Tracker, which MTV is again deploying in partnership with the Stamen Group and Twitter to allow viewers to track the popularity of the various topics related to the conversation with the president over the course of the show. You'll be able to watch as the subjects' images grow and shrink according to how many times they're mentioned on the social-networking site and see how many total Tweets have been received during the course of the broadcast.
The general layout of the website looks like a leader board, with the various topics — #askrecession, #askhealthcare, #askdeficit, #askeducation, etc. — ranked by their popularity during the show. The board updates itself constantly but allows users to navigate a minute-by-minute timeline of the show to see which topics are most popular at any given point. By clicking on a particular topic, you can see what people on Twitter are saying and join in the conversation as well.
Since Monday, here are some of the topics people have been asking about:
What do you want to ask President Obama? Share your questions in the comments before asking the president himself on Thursday!
"A Conversation With President Obama," a production of MTV News and BET News, will be hosted by MTV News' Sway Calloway, BET's April Woodard and CMT's Katie Cook. The show will air live at 4 p.m. ET/ 3 p.m. CT (and tape-delayed at 4 p.m. PT) on MTV, BET, CMT, mtvU, Centric and Tr3s. The show will also stream on MTV.com, BET.com, CMT.com and Tr3s.com and will be made available on-demand 30 days after its initial airing.