It was announced that CNN and YouTube will be sponsoring a Democratic debate on July 23 and a Republican debate on September 17 where all the questions will be taken from the YouTube submissions. While CNN will decide which videos get picked, the ancillary benefit to those interested in follow up is that the debate will no doubt continue for days afterwards online. Of course, the potential for mash up is there, too, since all the videos will remain on YouTube and can then be edited together with the candidates’ responses, creating a new "1984" style phenomenon.
Most of the candidates are still missing the point of how to use internet video to their advantage. To use a sports metaphor, they are still letting the game come to them, instead of taking the game to the viewer. Podcasting allows you to talk about yourself before people start talking about you. This is true whether you are an individual, a company or a candidate for office.
"Candidates are starting to recognize that the only way to fight the potential tsunami of voter-generated video is to produce lots of video themselves, " says Andrew Rasiej, a co-founder of the non-partisan website techPresident, which tracks the candidates use of technology.
As we have previously noted, the hang up is financial, but not in the way you might think. Podcasting is so efficient in terms of both cost and as a communications tool, it will emerge as the most important message tool of our era.
"But there is both a component of habit and a component of financial self-interest here among consultants here in Washington, which is, you know, once they say well, you’re right, you know, these ads don’t really matter and people aren’t really watching them and they’re skipping over them on their Tivos, and they’re not especially well produced and they all sound the same, and everybody’s zoning them out, and maybe this isn’t the best way to get your message out there – once they say that, they’ve just thrown away a pretty significant [LAUGHS] meal ticket, right?
Essentially, consultants keep driving up the costs of a race by insisting that it has to be fought over the air at high expense. The networks keep raising the money to astronomical rates for these ads, ‘cause they know that the campaigns are raising it, and the ad guys are making out like bandits. And I don’t think they’re going to be quick to tell anybody that that business model no longer works, but I do think it’s going to become apparent."
Source: On the Media-April 27, 2007