On the ride up to Davos, as I mentioned the other day, Loic LeMeur dragged me up to the front of the bus and we vlogged each other. Here’s his video. I guarantee you’ll be sick of me, if you’re not already. I spoke with Loic about video and the French elections; I’ll put that up when I get back home.
Posts about youtubecampaign
I got to see only the end of Hillary Clinton’s first web conversation but what struck me immediately was that she was having a press conference with the people: We get to ask the questions. Oh, of course, it’s controlled; they get to pick the questions. But I still like that her campaign is a conversation.
On the same day, polar political opposites Hillary Clinton and Sam Brownback announced their campaigns for the White House on internet video. Compare and contrast.
: LATER: The Times of London says Hillary is “the new Thatcher.”
Hillary Clinton is to be presented as America’s Margaret Thatcher as she tries to become the first woman to win the White House. As she entered the 2008 presidential race yesterday, a senior adviser said that her campaign would emphasise security, defence and personal strengths reminiscent of the Iron Lady.
“Their policies are totally different but they are both perceived as very tough,” said Terry McAuliffe, Clinton’s campaign chairman. “She is strong on foreign policy. People have got to know you are going to keep them safe.”
: The Bivings Report finds significance in Hillary’s call for conversation-as-campaign: The campaign bus becomes the cluetrain.
Hillary Clinton is the latest presidential candidate to announce her campaign in a web video. She’s sitting on a couch in a room that feels like the Oval Office, casual yet forceful. Among the buttons she pushes: “how to bring the right end to the war in Iraq,” the deficit (a good Clinton association), health care for all. I’ve been a fan of hers, so I’m glad she’s in.
And they’re doing something new and neat next week: live video chat. I have no idea exactly how that will work but the smart candidates are trying to capture the online video campaign trail; I’ll blog soon about how the rest are doing it.
Foolishly, though, the Clinton campaign doesn’t make her video available as an embeddable player, nor can I find it on YouTube. Somebody better give her advice about how to play in the open video world. They did make it available for download, so it will surely show up on YouTube shortly.
Note how it’s oddly shot: The camera slowly pans while she just sits and talks; they Ken-Burnsed her video. Makes me a little seasick; looks like slo-mo flip-flopping.
: At the same time, from stage far-right, Sen. Sam Brownback, enemy of the First Amendment, announces his campaign in a video on his site. He pushes every God-fearing button he can push in three minutes, many of them repeated on his homepage (my italics):
I have decided, after much prayerful consideration, to consider a bid for the Republican nomination for the presidency.
I am running to spread hope and ideas. We are a blessed nation at an important crossroads. War, corruption, disintegrating families, and for some, hopelessness, tear at the American Dream. We need hope and ideas.
I am running for America…to be of service in a crucial time of trial.
Ours is an exceptional nation. A nation between two oceans made up of people from every nation on earth. A great nation united by our ideals. But we are a great nation because of our goodness. If we ever lose our goodness, we will surely lose our greatness.
We believe in a culture of life–that every human life is a beautiful, sacred, unique child of a loving God.
We believe in justice for all–at all times.
We believe in liberty.
But the central institutions that best transmit these values–the family and the culture–are under withering attack.
We must renew our families and rebuild our culture!
We need to revitalize marriage, support the formation of families, and encourage a culture of commitment.
We need a culture that encourages what is right and discourages what is wrong–and has the wisdom to understand the difference. . . .
I ask mostly for your prayers. Pray for America, that our division as a people might end and that our land be healed.
Thank you for your interest and support. Thank you for your prayers. Please join our campaign of national renewal and hope for the future!
God Bless you, and God Bless this nation we love so dearly….
Now Pew gives us some context for this with its report on the 2006 election and online. In it, I see the seeds of the revolution: Though TV is still big, the internet and other alternate sources are gaining their share of the spotlight. And more and more people are using interactive media to interact with the election, to take action. Some of the findings:
* Much of the report focuses on 60 million “campaign internet users” — including the 46% of internet users (31% of Americans) who “were online during the campaign season gathering information and exchanging views via email.”
* There is now a growing group of younger voters, 35% of those under age 36, who say the internet was their main source of political news — vs. 18% for newspapers. 15% of all American adults “say the internet was the primary source for campaign news.”
* About 14 million Americans — almost a quarter of those “campaign internet users” (11% of internet users, 7% of Americans) — used the read-write web to “contribute to political discussion and activity.” They didn’t just read. They did: 8% of “campaign internet users” posted their own comment online; 13% forwarded or posted someone else’s commentary; 1% created and 8% forwarded audio or video. Those are the stats that matter most to me: people talking action because they can.
* More than half of those “campaign internet users” are going to web sources for campaign information: 20% to blogs, 20% to international news organizations (isn’t that fascinating — getting local news from abroad), 19% from humor (The Onion, The Dailiy show). . . . Almost half of these people said they go online because “they could get information on the web that is not available elsewhere.” From major news organizations, in other words.
* The public is becoming more media-agnostic than media: “8% of those who watched TV news ‘yesterday’ say they viewed the program on something other than a TV, particularly their computers. . . . Similarly, 38% of Americans say they read a newspaper ‘yesterday’ and 15% of them say they read the newspaper online.”
* From November 2002 to 2006, the share of adult Americans with broadband grew from 17% to 45%. Thus, the spread of online video: 32% of campaign internet users watched video clips about candidates or the election online.
So though we’re still watching TV for politics — which means TV will still be filled with nasty commercials in contested markets — we’re moving to a broad array of other sources — video growing among them — and more and more, we are using interactivity to act.
Barack Obama has started his own channel on Brightcove, Beet.tv reports.
Beet.TV has learned that Brightcove’s arrangement with Obama will be multifaceted. It will include ongoing publication of campaign videos, the creation of a Obama “channel” on Brightcove and a syndication function which will allow bloggers and Web sites to have campaign clips published directly on their pages.
Steve Safran at Lost Remote thinks it’s a good idea. I agree. It gives him control of the presentation. But I also saw on YouTube that a few dozen people put up the Obama announcement video. That’s not as smart; it splinters the rank-and-file. What we saw in the Dean campaign is that they want to gather in one place and talk and conspire (and date, too).
So now Barack Obama has used the people’s video to announce his presidential run and get out his own soundbites.
He’s “struck by how hungry we all are for a different kind of politics” and wants to “advance the cause of change and progress that we so desperately need.” It’s the generic change message that Edwards gave in his videos, too. What I’m hungering for already is specifics.
Obama’s charm is made for the small screen: See his appearance on Conan O’Brien. Just one tip: Get a Teleprompter so you’re not always looking to your left.
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.