GUIDE: Tips for participating in and listening to round two of the presidential debates

Tuesday, October 16, 2012 | 11:39 a.m. CDT; updated 11:21 p.m. CDT, Thursday, October 18, 2012

COLUMBIA — Round two of the 2012 presidential debates between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will begin at 8 p.m. Tuesday at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y. The debate will be broadcast live on most major networks.

The debate will be in a town hall format, with questions from undecided voters about domestic issues and foreign policy. Candy Crowley, chief political analyst of CNN, will moderate.

If you're interested in interactive ways to participate in the debate, this guide is made with you in mind. Here are some outlets that are hosting live chats, conversations and commentary.

  • Show of Hands is an app that asks questions on debate topics and allows users to cast their vote. The app had a high amount of involvement during the first presidential debate and the vice presidential debate.

  • XBox LIVE is offering ways for viewers to interact and participate in the debate. People can tune in for live coverage and participate in real-time polling. You can submit your poll questions by tweeting them with the hashtag #XboxPoll, and they could be featured by other Xbox LIVE members. #Election2012onXbox is another place to stay tuned in on Twitter.
  • AARP is hosting a message board that will likely focus on the future of Medicare and Social Security.

  • The Commission on Presidential Debates is in partnership with AOL, Google and Yahoo to interact with the public. The website describes "The Voice Of ..." digital initiative as a platform that will provide "access to information about the issues at large, feature the live debates, allow access to archival debate footage and give people throughout the country the opportunity to share their voice."

Want to hear more from the candidates or from your community? Use these hashtags on Twitter or catch up with these social media outlets.

These outlets are making sure the candidates are getting the stories straight.

As the candidates prepare to debate each other, scores of journalists are preparing their own Excel sheets and ready-to-go reports, for on-the-spot fact-checking of what's being said.

Do you have other resources or fun interactive opportunities to share? Leave them in the comments below or email

Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.

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