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YouTube at street-level

2007-05-20 14:25:14.079247+00 by petronius 1 comments

We have seen in the last few elections instances of unofficial or quasi-official political campaign ads released only online. The Hillary 1984 , for example, was produced by a group affiliated with the Obama movement. Most of these things are never intended to be sent up to the big leagues, IE, broadcast TV, but are perhaps intended more to impress the cognoscenti, or to remind candidates that some factions of their supporters might be feeling ignored.

But that's all in the national realm. There is also a movement of people developing YouTube ads for local issues that might have a more immediate effect. The Chicago Tribune reports of two such ads that got play in Illinois. One attacked an alderman for being a tool of the real estate developers. It was as manipulative as broadcact ads, but it had a real impact. True, only 5,500 people saw it online, but in our recent aldermanic elections some races were decided by only about 100 votes or so. The developer's tool lost. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, and online advocacy becomes a local factor, rather than a national one.

[ related topics: Politics Technology and Culture Television Video Real Estate ]

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#Comment Re: made: 2007-05-21 13:51:02.384498+00 by: Dan Lyke

Very cool. I've often pondered that there's someone who goes to every single town council meeting, and if we can give that person a weblog, politics will change immensely.

On the other hand, I'm subscribed to the OpenCongress.org feeds for my assorted congressweasels' voting records, and I find that that stuff drops off because I don't have time to go read the background behind every "save the poor baby seals for no money act" that's actually the "billion dollars to be split between the pro-abstinence forces and the oil companies" act.

I used to be a skeptic about broadband penetration and its effect on the culture, but video is a strong enough and the technology is progressing quickly enough that I may not be secure in my bet with Todd.