It's an interesting development in how social media has transformed the way our political leaders engage in conversation and community.
Your Weekly Address from the President-Elect
President-elect Obama talks about the economy in this week's Democratic address. For more information, visit http://www.change.gov
While comments have been disabled for the video the conversation has unfolded in other forums like FriendFeed where Allen Stern and Dan Farber both raised the issue of the President-elect posting on a commercial site which has the appearance of favoring or endorsing YouTube over other video sharing sites.
Allen Stern said,"My issue with the YouTube selection is around fair competition. I'd prefer that the videos not be embeddable and be offered online only on the whitehouse.gov and change.gov websites. If they are going to use online video hosting services as an outlet, I'd like to see a full RFP process take place. All video hosts who want to host the weekly videos should have an equal chance of winning the government contract." - from Obama Says Yes We Can Use YouTube - Digital Life Blog - InformationWeek
Dan Farber asked this question, "But why should the incoming president, or public official, favor one Internet video service over another? Yahoo, MSN, Blip, Veoh, and other video-sharing sites shouldn't have to lobby the White House for equal time or at least some time. I am sure the choice of YouTube was practical, and has nothing to do with Google CEO Eric Schmidt's very public support of Obama. Implicit product endorsements are difficult to avoid for any public official." - from Obama appoints YouTube (Google) as secretary of video | Outside the Lines - CNET News
Many others love the idea and say that it's a good step toward reaching the masses since YouTube is so mainstream compared to other video sharing sites and actually the video is also available on
Coturnix had another perspective, "People like Dan Farber and Allen Stern are worried about favouritism - why YouTube and not other video services? Answer: if the only place they place a video is Change.org, then someone else will put it on YouTube, perhaps edited, with open comments, who knows what else. By posting it on YouTube themselves, the Obama comms folks are putting a degree of control over the message. In the next few months, they may decide to do the same on several other video-hosting services. This was just the first address, and YouTube, being such an 6000lbs gorilla (or is it an elephant in the room?), is the obvious place to go and test the waters first before embarking on a more ambitious program." - from A Blog Around The Clock : Will there be new communication channels in the Obama administration?
I agree and I'll be watching as he continues make history and I'll be participating in the conversation.
Here are some related blog posts and discussion:
- The YouTube Presidency | 44 | washingtonpost.com
- Obama Says Yes We Can Use YouTube - Digital Life Blog - InformationWeek
- Obama appoints YouTube (Google) as Secretary of Video - FriendFeed Discussion
- Obama appoints YouTube (Google) as secretary of video | Outside the Lines - CNET News
- A Blog Around The Clock : Will there be new communication channels in the Obama administration? by Coturnix
- Obama's YouTube speech raises the question: is there an efficient way to listen to America?
- Is Obama Ready To Be A Two-Way President? by Brian Solis for TechCrunch
- Snazzy new technology isn't enough to bring transparency to the White House. - By John Dickerson - Slate Magazine