YouTube may be the best platform to get answers to these questions straight from the horse's mouth.Ever since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig and the subsequent and ongoing spilling of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, the public has been asking many questions. Who is to blame? How long will it take to stop the leak? How much irrevocable damage has been done? Thankfully,
In collaboration with PBS NewsHour, YouTube is conducting an interview with British Petroleum (BP) Gulf Coast Restoration Organization CEO Bob Dudley in which he will answer questions directly from the YouTube audience. The questions can be submitted through Google Moderator on the CitizenTube channel where users can vote questions up and down - the best being chosen for the interview.
"Now is your chance to ask BP questions on accountability, the clean-up plan, recovery efforts in the Gulf Region, environmental impact, the status of the relief well drilling, the role of the U.S. government, the future of offshore drilling and of BP as a company," said YouTube in a blog post Wednesday.
YouTube has been making use of the opportunity created by the public interest in the oil spill to provide various platforms for voicing opinions and questions. YouTube not only streamed President Obama's oval office speech on the spill, but also held a similar Moderator-based Q&A with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs. For that session, YouTube says it tracked over 7,000 questions with nearly 200,000 votes.
The continued use of Moderator and YouTube as a method for crowdsourced Q&A discussions is a great trend for the Web and for expressing opinions. Other sites like Digg have been hosting similar discussions with various luminaries where questions can be submitted and voted on. YouTube, however, has excelled at landing very high-profile and timely interviews - like the Gibbs interview and now the BP interview.
It should be interesting to see which questions get voted highest by the YouTube audience since comments on the service (or most widely used Web services) are not known for their civility. I would assume the White House was able to approve which questions they were asked during the Gibbs interview, but BP's executives may not be so lucky.
They may, however, benefit from a very small window for submitting questions. The interview will be held tomorrow, July 1st, and will be conducted by NewsHour's Ray Suarez.