Scary thought?…Yes! Possible?…Absolutely! Probable?…Completely!This is HUGE if you think about it. Never before has a candidate had the power to openly broadcast their views without being beholden to the networks, the politics behind them, or the large media fees demanded to run their ‘spots’. It’s no wonder the pressure of the :30 ended up in the eventual mud-slinging. For the first time in the history of an election, the candidates can now post ANY programming for viewing by anyone at any time. Think about it…in the past, most Americans barely knew any more than the media chose to tell about a candidate before walking blindly into an election booth. On the obvious side, this programming will likely be made up of both a formal and informal dialogue of the candidate and their issues. On the less obvious side, the candidates now have a platform to tell a more personal story. We can now get to know more about their families, their personalities, their pet names before they are elected. (Has a president ever had cats?). The irreverent may become as important as the reverent, as Bill Clinton experienced after his stint on saxophone on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. For the first time, someone without deep pockets or friends in the right places could actually be President. Obama may actually have a shot here. Think of this as the ultimate form of democracy as you know it. The candidates have all elected to have their own channels on YouTube. Content is driven by each of them and they ALL elect to a two way dialogue complete with comments and criticism from viewers as any other YouTube channel provides. Surprisingly, the comments so far are fairly supportive. Could it be that YouTube has provided a ‘back door’ for the candidates to choose which comments are displayed? I hope not. But how much of the country watches YouTube you ask? More than you think. And don’t forget we have a whole year, and then some ahead of us. The integration of online video and traditional TV’s will most likely be close to complete by election time. The timing here is good. Now, the traditional spots around election time will still be there, but don’t be surprised if they are actually used to drive viewers to YouTube to watch more in-depth coverage on the candidates. I predict the end of mudslinging as the candidates will now have the time to get into the issues without being subjected to the expensive time constraints behind the :30 & :60 second spots. YouTube is obviously not the only game in town and most candidates have pages on MySpace and the like. Another site worth watching is TechPresident, which measures each candidates popularity across the web with a predictive eye on the seat of power.
http://techpresident.com/ For a grass roots, two way dialogue and some of the most politically informed blogs on the internet, also check out The Huffington Post at:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ If the world powers cannot stop a video of the private hanging of a world leader, imagine what power the medium has when chosen consciously? If you have not already, check out all of our future choices for President on YouTube at:
This is sure to be an election time like no other. Democracy actually may be back.