As the winter bites on America's East Coast, for the third January running I've been lucky enough to head West….to California's Silicon Valley where, on Friday, I'll be producing a Google + Hangout with President Barack Obama.
It's become something of a tradition for Google to secure an interview with the President in the immediate aftermath of the State of the Union Address. And I'm delighted to say it's become something of a tradition for me to head here to help the Google team produce the broadcast.
Back in 2012, we presented "Your Interview with the President", which gave a group of Americans a chance to interview Barack Obama both live in a Google Hangout, and via taped submissions sent in to You Tube.
Last year, we tapped a group of videobloggers and social entrepreneurs to put their questions to the President ins a Google + Fireside Hangout, loosely modeled on the Fireside Chats that became a hallmark of FDR's Presidency.
This year, the format is being tweaked again. The President will engage in a "virtual road-trip", talking to three separate regionally-based groups of Americans from the West, the middle of the nation, and the East. The panel will, once again, be moderated by my friend Steve Grove, the Director of Community Partnerships for Google +, and he told me how this year's hangout will work.
Steve and I have spent the past 2 days putting the finishing touches to the script and the rundown for the broadcast alongside an enormously talented technical and editorial team. It's no mean feat to connect the President, who will be in the White House, with the questioners that he'll face in a few hours time. And it's no small matter to keep the questions confidential, so neither he nor his staff know exactly what will be asked when the red light comes on.
I can reveal only that you're in for a fascinating 35 minutes if you join us live on the Web at 2pm ET on Friday. You'll find the program here: