Politics And Web 2.0

by Sachin Balagopalan on July 24, 2007 · 1 comment


Just finished watching the CNN/YouTube Democratic presidential debate and I must say it was quite interesting to say the least. I’m talking about the format and the concept and not necessarily the rhetoric spewed by the politicians. For the past few weeks CNN was soliciting video questions from its viewers asking them to upload their video questions to YouTube and apparently the response was overwhelming with questions from around the world, from workers in Darfur refugee camps to a talking snowman worried about global warming.

The format was designed to force the candidates to drop their usual rhetoric and sound bytes and field blunt questions from ordinary Americans. For the most part it worked with questions like this one to Sen. Obama “Are you black enough?” to which he replied “You know, when I’m catching a cab in Manhattan … I’m giving my credentials”. I think we’re going to see Web 2.0 technologies play an important role in politics in the future. Already most of the candidates have profiles setup on social networking sites like FaceBook and MySpace. Senator John Edwards also Twitters (or is it Twits :-) ) . Politicians and their campaign staff members seem to recognize the benefit of some of these technologies in terms of reaching millions of voters. Not only the candiates but mainstream media establishments like CNN are also beginning to understand the potential of these web 2.0 technologies.

Of course if you’re a politician there could also be an adverse effect as Republican George Allen found out after someone put up a video on YouTube that caught him using an ethnic slur against a South Asian man - remember the famous “macaca” moment!

It’s definitely refreshing to see the morphing of technology and politics if nothing else for the sheer entertainment value.

Good stuff indeed!


{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

tommy2008 07.24.07 at 2:58 am

Thank you for that interesting take on the YouTube debates. As part of our presidential campaign, over here at Tommy Thompson for president we have been doing what we can to take advantage of the latest social networking and social bookmarking technology. I invite you and your readers to check out our blog for more information on what we are doing in our campaign in this arena.

Also would you be interested in linking up?

Best wishes,
Tommy for 2008

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