John Edwards and Mitt Romney have been making fascinating use of YouTube in the presidential campaign. Bob LeDrew makes a couple of equally fascinating observations about what will surely follow:
* War rooms will become expert at finding inconsistencies and getting them YouTubed;
* Inconsistencies will be torqued and played with by selective clipping;
* So many inconsistencies will be found and so many will be torqued that voters will become confused by them, immunized against them, and possibly more apathetic than before (if that’s possible)
* Services like the excellent Annenberg Political Factcheck will become even more indispensable for media and voters alike.
I do like that verb: torqued. Yes, there’ll be a lot of video torquing going on. But I don’t think video will serve only one spin or another. There will also be people just taping what candidates do and say and that will be valuable: life as C-SPAN.
Fascinating back-and-forth over Mitt Romney’s positions happening in YouTube. First came a video from a 1994 debate between Romney and Ted Kennedy in which Romney issues a number of positions that are different from those he holds today on abortion and gays. Now Romney appears on the Glenn and Helen Show, the Instapundit podcast, to say that he has changed his mind on those issues, that he was “wrong” in ’94. The Romney campaign taped him talking on the phone G & H and put it up on YouTube. (See also a CBSNews.com story here.)
This is amazing on so many levels: YouTube allows an opponent to find a candidate’s words and play them again. But Romney chose to use podcasts and YouTube to respond. And big media has to pick that up.
Variety covers the alleged attempt of the big nets to start their own YouTube. I spoke to the reporter and made additonal points:
The networks are foolishly trying to maintain the old-media model of getting everyone to come to them — rather than going to where the people are — and that will both cost them marketing dollars and cost them the marketing opportunity of reaching a new audience. They should be embracing this new world and figure out how to monetize it with advertising and as a free marketing vehicle: You want viewers to recommend your shows! You want new viewers to discover your shows! You want your shows to be cool and to be cool you must be in the conversation! And if you’re really, really cool, you’ll want the viewers to turn into producers making shows around your shows: witness both Star Trek and LonelyGirl15.
But I also had lunch with a smart media exec who shrugged at all this news about an attempt to start TheirTube: “If there is…” he said. In other words, it could just be a negotiating ploy vs. Google and YouTube.
Cops in Canada and the U.K. use YouTube to try to get evidence in investigations. Another example of crowdsourcing, but then good police work always has been. So we’re dispatched not only to report but also to get their man.
YouTube started a new feature called Quick Capture allowing you to record a video directly to the service from your laptop camera. So I tried it out. Didn’t work so well for me. And it took hours for the video to appear online. When they get the bugs worked out — and they will — this will lead, I think, to an epidemic of video conversation. Imagine forums in video.
CBS is justifiably bragging about its decision to put up content onto YouTube, aka the network of the future. They uploaded 300 clips, which got 29.2 million views in a month, averaging 857,000 per day. They also note an increase in audience for shows that are doing well on YouTube: David Letterman up 200,000, Craig Ferguson up 100,000. Rafat Ali is unconvinced that these are necessarily connected; I’m not nearly as skeptical. I say this is, first, a brilliant marketing means and, next, the start of a new generation of distribution.
I can’t find anything about this online, but on the local NBC news this morning, they reporrted that Comedy Central was not asking YouTube to pull all the clips from its show, only full episodes — a reasonable and wise position. It seems that cooler heads prevailed. YouTube is a magnificent new means of distribution and promotion. Now the key will be for Comedy Central to also make money on those clips; once that happens, the networks will fall over themselves to put their own stuff up.
: MediaBistro did some reporting on this.
Maybe I should think twice about wecasting my classes! Based on a comment, I took the wacky prof video down.