Technical difficulties and a frustrated audience plagued President Obama’s attempt on Monday evening to address criticisms of Obamacare and the Healthcare.gov debacle.
Organizing For Action (OFA), formerly the Obama campaign’s Organizing For America, hosted an online conference call for Obama to rally supporters around the healthcare law and the federal online healthcare exchange, which has been fraught with technical problems since before its Oct. 1 launch.
The OFA conference call, powered by the live audio broadcasting platform Mixlr, was plagued with its own audio and user connection problems. The frequent audio blackouts frustrated users, many of whom were supporters of the president and his agenda.
Numerous users complained in the broadcast’s online chat about the audio quality and the broadcast connection, as well; other users sang Obama’s praises, and others complained that he did not answer listener questions.
A user named LASTS FIRST complained, “Absolutely terrible… Heard the introducer for about 30 seconds then it kicked me off or the broadcast went dead… Went “of air” [sic] but it had just started! Major problems with technology it seems… And I am a big supporter of Obama.”
Another user, Marion Orlosky, said, “I signed up for tonight’s call and I cannot connect. What gives?”
According to OFA’s official numbers, the call had an estimated 200,000 listeners; Mixlr’s own “Crowd View” tally of listeners signed-in to the call, however, counted 16,000 listeners around 8:30pm ET. The page featuring the call was shared on social media 843 times.
Mixlr’s Crowd View option allows other listeners to see in real time how many signed-in users are listening to a broadcast, although the actual tally may be larger.
By 8:45pm ET, just 3 minutes before the broadcast ended, the number of signed-in listeners had dwindled to 8,500 users and the page for the call had been shared through social media 1898 times.