New Media

In YouTube Clips, a Political Edge [pdf]

If any teenager can put up a video for or against a candidate, and persuade other people to watch that video, the center of gravity could shift to masses of people with camcorders and passable computer skills. And if people increasingly distrust the mainstream media, they might be more receptive to messages created by ordinary folks.

“YouTube is a campaign game-changer, shifting the dynamics of how to reach voters and build intimate relationships,” says Julie Supan, senior marketing director for the small, California-based firm, which by one measure now runs the 39th most popular Web site. “YouTube levels the playing field, allowing well-backed and less-known candidates to reach the same audience and share the same stage.”

Even the seemingly simple act of posting footage of a politician’s interview on “Meet the Press” or “The Daily Show” has a viral quality, because it can be seen by far more people than watched during a single broadcast.

[…] Politicians are increasingly joining the party. Former Virginia governor Mark Warner, a Democrat who is weighing a White House bid, has posted a two-minute video, which has been viewed 426 times. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has a channel featuring C-SPAN clips of various Democrats. (Readers can offer comments; one called her “the biggest windbag in the House.”) Krissy Keefer, a Green Party candidate challenging Pelosi, also has a channel, which includes a taped endorsement by a San Francisco street poet named Diamond Dave.

Related: Is the Web the New Hollywood?pdf