Follow the State of the Union on Twitter

He shall from time to time give to Congress information of the State of the Union and recommend to their Consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.

The Constitution of the United States, Article II, Section 3

Every year, the President of the United States delivers a kind of “status update” and his proposals for new initiatives to a joint session of Congress. In the early days, it was a private communique between two branches of government; today it’s very much a public event to which millions of Americans, as well as people around the world, tune in.

Tonight at 9pm ET/6pm PT, President @BarackObama will deliver his fourth State of the Union address. Whether you watch it on TV or hear it on the radio, you’ll get a richer, 360-degree experience of what he says and reactions to it when you follow along live on Twitter. Here’s how:

Get your timeline ready: Look for more from the president by following @WHLive and @whitehouse and follow the reaction from Republican presidential candidates. More than 450 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate have Twitter accounts; we expect that many will be tweeting their thoughts from the chamber. And if you watch on C-SPAN2, you’ll be able to see their Tweets on screen in real time as well.

Make your voice heard: Join the conversation by adding the hashtag #SOTU to your Tweets. Immediately after the debate, a team of senior White House officials will be ready to answer your questions when you add the hashtags #WHchat and #SOTU to your Tweets. And if you have something to say about specific parts of the speech or topics, you can include one of the following official hashtags from the White House:

Republican leaders will be taking questions using #SOTUGOP. For more on #SOTU-related Q&As this week, visit http://wh.gov/sotu and http://gop.gov/sotu.

Get real-time analysis as the speech unfolds: Log in to Twitter and search for the hashtag #SOTU to see comments and ideas from many perspectives about the speech. (Last year, more than 80% of Tweets about the State of the Union used the #SOTU hashtag.)

Updated:

And the results are in. Below is a visual of the Twitter activity from President Obama’s entrance into the House chamber up through Mitch Daniels’ response for the Republican Party. There were three-quarters of a million Tweets that specifically mentioned the State of the Union. And the moment that we saw the highest Tweets-per-minute was following the President’s “spilled milk” joke (14,131 TPM).

For other views of how the speech played out on Twitter, check out Rick Santorum’s and Gov. Buddy Roemer’s accounts who live-tweeted the event.

Finally, the Vice President took to Twitter this evening to announce his first Twitter chat later this week.