Posts Tagged ‘online’

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Politics Online

July 28, 2008

Politics and political campaigns will never be the same after this one. The first US presidential campaign is taking place in the era of social media.  Or as Garrett Graff calls it “The First Campaign”, which is “defined by technology” and where for the first time “technology is both the medium and the message“. Yes, we do perceive the candidates by what they say, but we also pay attention to how they say it, by what means.

TechRepublican posted today a short interview with Jeff Jarvis of the BuzzMachine, where he briefly comments on how YouTube has been useful throughout the presidential campaign, because it gives us a lot more than just sound bites and he quotes Barack Obama’s thirty-minute speech that received a lot of attention. Asked about whether the next US President should keep posting videos on YouTube, Jarvis replies positively, because (as he puts it): “It is a new relationship.”

An interesting comment follows the brief interview with Jarvis, pointing to a link to a White House Video Tour, where President Bush takes virtual visitors around the Oval Office. Drew, who posted the link, believes that online videos give us a totally different perspective of someone. However, after seeing the seven-minute clip, my perception of the current President and his “eloquence” did not change much – he is repeating phrases and making several silly comments. Ironically, Drew’s comment claiming that presidents posting videos “is already happening and becoming history” misses the whole point of Web 2.0. YouTube features user-generated content, it is a dialogue, where you can actually see how popular the posted video is, vote, post comments and video responses. I can not even begin to draw the huge difference between a video placed on an Web 1.0 institutional monologue-style website and the dynamic exchange that makes YouTubea social media platform.

Reading this comment provoked me to sum up an up-to-date comparison of the YouTube activity of presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain. Obama’s campaign is pretty tech savvy and this is no discovery, but ho much ahead of the game is he on YouTube?

Total Number of YouTube videos:

  • Obama – 1,200 videos
  • McCain – 200 videos

Number of subscribers to their YouTube Channel

  • Obama – 65,000 people
  • McCain – 8,400 people

Most watched video

  • Obama – 4,700,000 views (that is the 30-something minute video Jarvis refers to above!)
  • McCain – 400,000 views

It is clear that where McCain is in the hundreds, Obama is in the thousands. Where McCain is in the hundreds of thousands, Obama is in the millions.

Here’s one of the things YouTube does best – work as a repository of TV-produced pieces, prolonging their life and the buzz around them. Like this sophisticated satire of Obama+Messiah=Obamessiah:

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Stand-Up Comedy Lives Online

June 25, 2008

I love stand-up comedy. My fascination with it came twelve years ago after hearing (not even watching) some early stand-up comedy audio tapes done by Woody Allen in the 1970s. He is awsome! He set the bar of my expectations really high. It is strange though how people in America do not associate him at all with his early career as a comedian. I rented the tapes from the BBC Center in Sofia by a reccomendation of a friend and ended up literally memorizing them. I have to make it clear that stand-up comedy is not a popular genre in Bulgaria except for a couple of recent attempts at launching stand-up shows on TV in 2005 and 2006. To my utmost disappointment, I have so far discovered only one YouTube video of these early Woody Allen stand-up comedy performances. Here it is – the one and only:

Thanks to the proliferation of videos and channels on YouTube I have discovered many exceptional comedians. One of them is Russel Peters, whose entire career and huge current popularity is built exclusively on word-of-mouth marketing. Thanks to the web and mostly YouTube I have come to adore his comedy for a year already and you bet I was among the first people to buy a ticket three months in advance for his live performance in D.C. last week-end. He is big on making fun of ethnic differences and draws a very versatile audience.

Other great comediansI have discovered via the web are the Middle Eastern bunch that made the Axis of Evil Comedy Tour. They are very efficient in breaking stereotypes about the Middle East through comedy and similarly to Russel Peters they appeal to a vast multi-ethnic public.

I have found immense gratification in exploring amateur or user-produced comedy online, which is in many cases as good as professional comedy. Among the best picks I have come accross recently are Barats and Bereta. Their videos can be found in MySpace, YouTube and their official website.

And since this is my school blog, let me fullstop this post with my all-time comic YouTube video called “Effect of education on men and women”: