James Kelm asks about the impact of YouTube and viral video on the next presidential election — or any election, for that matter. He notes that candidates should look at this as a way to directly give their messages to the public. Of course, it can also be used by opponents to show or remix candidates’ worst sides (cue Dean Scream). I remember in the last election getting to hear podcasts of candidates’ stump speeches thanks to one site and it was a great way to hear directly and all at once, rather than reading the lines dribbled out by bored pool reporters.

For the upcoming elections, I think any video sharing service worth its salt should enable sharing and editing of video: We, the people, should take along our cameras and put up entire stump speeches. We should also TiVo and share candidates’ spiels on TV and also network reports. Then we should be enabled to easily remix compliations of quotes: what all the candidates really said about immigration, or Daily-Show-like what-he-said-then-vs.-now comparisons.

The next revolution may not be televised. But it can be YouTubed. [via Sullivan]

  • Actually, we tried that during the municipal elections last february here in the Netherlands. The result was not very good. We figured out that people are very willing to send in photo’s and video’s, as long as they didn’t have to do a shoot especially for us. So when they have made a pic of video anyway, they will send in it. When they wouldn’t make it, they won’t make it for us. So, lots of summer or snow photo’s, but hardly any election photo.

  • I think this could work better in the States. There are entire cabals of camera-savvy young’uns looking for ways to get their adopted policial agendas heard. Maybe YouTube could have a section devoted to such contributions, along with a Craigslist-style call for work. Heck, if flash-mobs could work in this country, certainly YouElect could…

  • Total aside: I call the Dean speech “I have a scream.”


    The revolution was recorded, is being edited, and will be televised.

    Check it out!

  • I’ve worked on several political campaigns, including the 2004 presidential campaign. A few things…

    Poltical consultants, as a whole, are loathe to use the web. Even now, they think it is strictly a fundraising vehicle. I’m now on everybody’s email list because I was on both Bush and Kerry’s. Money, money, money.

    Where consultants make their money is TV. TV is video. So, yes, you will see some transfer from the TV to the web on that for sure. Especially with independent groups.

    One thing that will still not be used is effective online advertising with a mix of video and text content that reaches out to the middle and to targeted demographic groups.

    One more thing. You’ll often see people with video cameras taping a candidate. Often that’s someone from the opposition. So, look for a lot of attach stuff. Pisses me off, because I want to hear about issues.