Internet town meeting to be held by Ventura

Though he considers himself a computer novice, Gov. Jesse Ventura will be surrounded by cutting-edge Internet technology today when he takes part in an online town hall meeting.
From downtown Minneapolis, Ventura will field questions from 700 Minnesota citizens and up to 2,000 worldwide cyber-citizens in what is the first political event of its kind.
Although other politicians — namely President Clinton — have taken part in Internet “chat” discussions, today’s event will be more comprehensive. Instead of just asking questions, participants will be asked for input and will receive answers from Ventura’s staff even if their question is not chosen for the governor to answer.
One-third of online participants’ computer screens will display live video feeds of Ventura speaking, and the other two-thirds will display a “content window.” The content window will periodically display visual images and will survey participants about issues being discussed.
For instance, if Ventura discusses his idea for a unicameral legislative body in Minnesota — as he is expected to do — the content screen will show a description of a unicameral legislature. A pop-up screen will then ask something like: “Do you agree with the governor’s plan?”
Participants will answer by clicking “yes” or “no,” and soon a chart with the poll’s results will be displayed.
The governor will answer about 15 questions, half from the Internet and half from a live audience.
In order to participate, computer users must have at least 56K Internet connection, a media player and speakers. All participants have to register online at

Max Rust welcomes comments at [email protected]. He can also be reached at (612) 627-4070 x3227.