Posts about youtube

PDF: Eric Schmidt

Google’s head, Eric Schmidt, is talking with the New York Times’ Tom Friedman at PDF.

Schmidt says the most obvious use of the internet in politics is as a truth detector: We can look up what politicians have said and we can refute fact.

He also says that voters will become much less likely to believe the first thing that comes at them because there is so much more coming. This is the model of news going forward as it becomes more universal and instantaneous.

Friedman quotes a friend who says that a young George Bush would never get elected today — no, not for the obvious reason — because if there would have been cell phone cameras and pictures of his wild days at Yale. Friedman says that when people our age go for jobs, we present our resume: our proxy of ourselves. Now that identity is online and out of our control. Schmidt says that he thinks there should be a law allowing us all to change our names at 21: everything before is erased.

I think there is also an issue of mutual assured destruction: Let he who has nothing embarrassing searchable on Google cast the first stone.

Friedman also tells a story that in essence makes us all politicians, all public figures: He was at an airport newsstand and a woman thought he cut in front of her and she snarled, “I know who you are.” He says today he’d buy the woman’s magazine hoping she wouldn’t go blog the episode, creating a reputation for that rude guy from the New York Times.

Friedman tells the story of how in a recent Bahraini election voters used Google Earth to take pictures of what was behind the walls of the palaces and estates of the ruling family. Schmidt says the government tried to shut down Google Earth but there was a backlash and they had to turn it back on again, all of which only drew more attention to it. Online, as in the White House, the coverup is worse than the crime.

(Crossposted from PrezVid)

Jake’s new venture: The creation generation

Pardon the proud dad moment while I brag about my 15-year-old son, Jake‘s, new online venture:, a search engine and player for music videos on YouTube. Jake found the quality of search there lacking, so he scraped data about the videos posted by official, legal music labels and made a search engine out of that, adding a random video feature and a top 100 list and the ability to share the video on your Facebook page. He links directly to the video’s page on YouTube and to the music lablels’ sites.

Pretty damned cool, huh?


Middio was written up with a good review — whew! — on TechCrunch and Michael Arrington didn’t even know until I told him that it came from my kin. Then it was written up on Wired. Jake politely shot down this snarky review and got an apology. Webware gets the value of it: “In other words, you’re less likely to find videos of teenagers lip syncing the song you’re looking for.”

I have a bigger point to make about this but first let me tell you about Jake’s other latest creation — continuing my proud dad moment. Jake — who truly is my webmaster and tech teacher — told me about, which lets any of us become Justin.TV and broadcast live via an embeddable player; I was arguing that live is the next trend to overtake online video. When I looked at UStream’s blog, I read this:

On the Shoulders of Giants
We’ve been incredibly happy with the reception we’ve gotten from the true pioneers of the blogosphere. Scoble, Pirillo, Jarvis, Pulver-that’s the kind of company we like to keep. But this is special.

I thought, all too egotistically, that that was me and that puzzled me since I’d only just heard of UStream. But following the link, I found that Jake had mashed up something else new:, which he tried and has since taken down. It promised to show you high-school life through the back of a student’s backpack. Jake hooked up a laptop with a video camera and a high-speed cellular modem and set to broadcast through the back of his backback via UStream. He did it for a few hours and it worked.

When I saw this, I was overtaken with a both parental pride and parental dread. I was amazed at what he’d built — but also scared to death that he’d get expelled from school for combining all the things that scare principals everywhere: technology, the internet, cell phones, and cameras.

Jake didn’t quite understand why I was so amazed and proud and it rather embarrassed him. That is to say, we’re a normal father-and-son.

Now here’s the bigger point: Jake doesn’t think twice about making things like this (he has made other things, including this very blog). And I think that’s an important characteristic of his generation: They take the tools available and make things, whether that’s a blog or a video or a web page or an application. The more tools there are, the more things they’ll make. There is no end to it. They don’t consume. They make.

This is the creation generation.

PrezVid Show: Advice for Edwards

In response to his YouTube spotlight video, I have an entirely frivolous yet still sincere suggestion for Sen. John Edwards that can change his image and the tone of the entire YouTube discussion.

More at Prezvid.

Question Time for the rest of us

Meanwhile, in the U.K., Tony Blair has finally had to join David Cameron online with a Labour YouTube channel of his very own. (See the Guardian’s review; see also my report from London on WebCameron). Here’s Blair’s welcoming message. And here, looking particularly uncomfortable, he invites questions, some of which he says he’ll answer some on April 23 with John O’Farrell joining him on the small screen:

So, UK readers, what are your questions for Blair? As of this writing, there is not a single video question up on YouTube. But there is this text comment:

You aren’t looking at the camera Mr Blair. LOL. If the Iraq war had never happened you would have gone down as one of the best prime ministers this country ever had. I follow politics closely and I mean that. Unfortunately the Iraq war is what you will be remembered for.

(Crossposted from PrezVid)

YouTube’s new Spotlight

YouTube announces an initiative to get the candidates to converse with the voters. Details at PrezVid.