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The White House has given its stamp of approval to Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Moderator, which it will use to pick questions for President Barack Obama’s online town-hall meeting Thursday. The service, launched in September, lets users submit questions and then vote on which ones they want answered. Google notes on its Official Google Blog that the service can “now support tens of thousands of people at once.”
And indeed, as of 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, 17,672 questions had been submitted and 548,029 votes had been cast on a White House site. The most-popular category of question? Jobs. The most popular question? From James of Bloomington, Ind.: “As a student, who like so many others works full time and attends school full time, only to break even at the end of the month, what is the government doing to make higher education more affordable for lower- and middle-class families?”
The Obama administration has been quite the fan of Google’s products (Coincidence? Former Google business development exec Katie Jacobs Stanton is the administration’s “director of citizen participation” and Google CEO Eric Schmidt was a high profile Obama supporter during the election). The president posts weekly addresses on the White House’s YouTube channel, which currently has 54 videos, including shots of Obama’s first foreign tour and conversations with crew members on the space shuttle. (The president is getting the word out about Thursday’s meeting via a YouTube video.) Watch it here.