Thursday, March 15, 2007

Elliot Schrange - The Concept of YouTube as an Election Tool

The title of the presentation is Online Politics in 2008, the Good, the Bad, and the Unknown. One of the first things mentioned was YouTube, and its effect on the internet and politics. Of course, Google now owns YouTube and this became a big point in the presentation.

Google, as a content neutral company, allows for the candidates and other politicians to discuss with the people through YouTube. A great idea, one sure to be used for good and bad. While it allows for people to get their word out, it could also mean that parodies will come as often as people can come up with them. Though this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Actually, this is more of a good thing, as it allows for the users of YouTube to keep the long campaigns entertaining. Why is parody a good thing, doesn't it distract us from the point? Well, its allows for the Elections to stay interesting and stay in peoples mind. Every time a video is posted by a candidate on YouTube, it allows for some smart person or some creative person to create some form of entertainment, be it a rant, a song a comedy or something entirely new to keep the election alive on the web, and in someones mind. It lets the user respond, and lets the candidates know what the individuals feel about them.

A YouTube montage presented by Mr. Schrage proved a good example of how this entertainment can capture our attention, and can bring in the interest and votes of the MySpace generation of 18-24 year olds, as well as the older generations, who find out about these internet phenomenons through mass media sources like CNN. YouTube allows for people, both candidates and just regular people to express themselves, without having to be famous or have a website with 1,000,000 hits. It also allows people to bypass the media filters, which allows for a more realistic picture of the candidates. Of course we need to wait until after the 08 election to see how it all goes, but I think that YouTube should be watched closely (no pun intended), as it could be the difference between candidates in this election We've already seen YouTube change campaigns drastically, usually for the worst, but in the future, lets see if it can be used to positively forward a campaign as well.

No comments: