Posts about smalltv

The revolution will be YouTubed

There has been a lot of action on YouTube around the 2008 presidential election: see John Edwards, Mitt Romney, and Barack Obama hitting the play button.

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.


Art Buchwald has died — and announced the news himself in a video on “Hi,” he says/said, “I’m Art Buchwald and I just died.” There was still a twinkle in his eye.

The Times says this is the first of a new effort to go to the prominent to ask them on tape how they want to be remembered. It’s an absolutely wonderful idea. (I do wish, though, this tribute did not start off paying tribute to The Times for having the idea.)

I see a trend: I want to record my obit now. Now that is the ultimate vlog.

I used to say that the one real fringe benefit of working for newspapers was getting obits in them. But I now wonder whether the papers I worked for will survive me. So perhaps it’s better to put your own obit on YouTube. And with staff cutbacks, maybe we’ll all have to write out own obits. I remember when I was writing them back on Chicago Today (a paper that had no tomorrow), a former priest wanted to save his former-nun wife from having to do all this, so when he knew he was going to die, he arranged his own funeral and wrote his own obit.

The final indignity could be having one’s obit edited. So maybe a video obit is the best idea.

Ze deal

The Observer profiles Ze Frank and reports that he is going Hollywood with an agent and a plan to break into movies. I’m a fan and wish he’d stick with the small screen. Ze had created his own unique visual voice and his own comedy HQ; too bad he’ll be abandoning both in March.

Say it to Davos: An invitation

Here’s an invitation to Davos: I hope that many of you will record video questions and thoughts to send to Davos, putting them up on YouTube tagged “davos07.”

This is part of the World Economic Forum’s attempt to open the conversation from Davos to the world and vice versa. I also think it’s a good opportunity to bring together more voices and viewpoints in a sort of virtual Davos on YouTube.

The other partners in the Davos Conversation Project, which will launch later this week — the Guardian’s Comment is Free, BBC News, and the Huffington Post — will also be asking their communities to make and post videos. The World Economic Forum will take a limited number of these and get video responses from the participants at Davos, posting both online. Please note that they won’t have the resources to get every or even many of the video questions answered. But I think that’s only part of the appeal of this. I want to hear more voices down from the mountains of Davos, voices from around the world. And I think video is a very powerful means to deliver these questions and messages: questions, comments, ideas, pleas.

So fellow bloggers and vloggers, please spread the invitation and ask your readers to say it to Davos via YouTube. Later this week, I’ll post some of the topics they’ll be talking about and some of the people who’ll be there. But go ahead and record and broadcast your questions and thoughts on world economic issues, on global security, on innovation and collaboration, on health, on energy, on the environment.

The head of the WEF , Klaus Schwab, said that this year’s meeting is about “a changing power equation; power is moving from the center to the periphery; vertical command-and-control structures are eroding and are being replaced by horizontal networks of social communities and collaborative platforms.” Since many of you are the ones advocating and enabling just that, then share your wisdom and your vision of how the world can and should work in a connected, collaborative, transparent universe.

You don’t have to do anything fancy to record a video on YouTube. It is incredibly easy to record and upload a video to YouTube; that’s why millions are doing it. But now there’s an even easier way: To to YouTube’s Quick Capture, let it take over your webcam, and you can record and upload a message in one easy step.

Davos says they want to have an open conversation. So let’s have it. Please record questions and messages for Davos — and for the world, really — and also please leave links to the videos in the comments here.



Wandering Brightcove, I came across the prequel for this season’s 24 — which I’m finally going to get into — and it’s an hour’s worth of TV in 10 minutes: a great way to promote the series.