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New technologies lead to 'first-ever' interactive State of the Union speech

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12 2013 11:05 a.m. MST

President Barack Obama waves as he walks down the West Wing Colonnade of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, ahead of tonight's State of the Union speech on Capitol Hill.

Charles Dharapak, AP

Bing and FOX News have partnered to create the Bing Pulse online voting tool, which will create "the first-ever interactive presidential address."

"For a century, presidents have talked. Today we talk back," Bing's poll site says.

While Obama gives his State of the Union speech at 9 p.m. EST tonight, listeners can get online and log their real-time reactions to the speech through Bing Pulse.

To be included in Bing's "audience pulse," users can go to bing.com/politics while they watch the debate and then share their reactions as positive, negative or neutral.

Bing says it will update results every few seconds and will present the results with line graphs of a live number of user "pulses," or votes.

Bing's Pulse poll will allow users to identify themselves by gender and political affiliation.

The site will also link to resources such as a live stream of the speech, expert commentary and real-time news results that can be filtered by preference of left-leaning or right-leaning media sources.

Users can find additional analysis and commentary on the FOX News website.

According to Microsoft.com, Bing recently surveyed about 1,000 people, ages 18 to 34, and found that nearly 75 percent of those people "identified themselves as active participants or observers in online political discussions."

Until tonight's speech, Bing will continue measuring reactions to major issues such as gun control and immigration.

At the time of this writing, Bing was reporting that 55 percent of users feel positive about the issue of same-sex marriage, while 16 percent feel negative about it, and 29 percent are neutral.

It seems the president's speech will be well received among many Bing users; involved users are showing a higher percentage of positive reactions than negative ones on every listed issue.

The White House has announced that the live stream from its website will also include charts, facts and other information. But "the speech is only the beginning," according to the White House blog.

After the speech concludes, the White House will launch an online tool called Citizen Response that "lets you highlight a passage from the State of the Union Address, tell the president how you're connected to that issue and then share that specific part with your friends."

On Thursday, the president will join a series of Google+ "Fireside Hangouts" to answer questions about his speech. The hangout will begin at 4:50 p.m. EST and can be accessed on the White House's Google+ page.

EMAIL: kardmore@deseretnews.com, Twitter: KatieArdmore

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