The YouChoose section of YouTube has started to allow presidential candidates one week each in the Spotlight on the News & Politics page of the massive video site. During their time in the Spotlight, they will be able to pose questions to the YouTube community. In response, people everywhere can upload their own “RE:” videos answering the questions asked.
This is your chance to engage the leaders who are competing for the most powerful position in the country. Let them know what you think and keep an eye on their replies. This is a great chance to get to know the candidates better by speaking across the level platform that is politics on YouTube.
This is a very interesting idea that YouTube is trying out. They are taking advantage of their massive active user population to possibly influence the ’08 elections. So what does this mean? I think that the number of 18-24 age voters will go up. If this does nothing else, it will put good amounts of information right at the fingertips of millions of YouTubers. Giving people information where they already are (in this case, YouTube) is a very important aspect of informing potential voters. People are lazy, and putting political information in a place that doesn’t make people go out of their way is great.The Spotlight pages that the candidate pages are nice because they aren’t just places to post videos. They let you see both critical and fun facts about the candidates. This adds to the concept of putting information where people already are.
The downside? You are allowing the millions of pre-teens ample space to start more flame wars. As nearly every web forum has proved, it only takes one idiot to post something like “i will pwn u all! u suxors!” to have an entire thread to go astray. Hopefully the users of YouTube will keep their heads on while talking about politics so that we can see some actual intellectual debating go on.
Right now, we have Dennis Kucinich, Duncan Hunter, Rudy Giuliani, Barack Obama, Ron Paul, Bill Richardson, John Edwards, Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, Tom Tancredo, and Mitt Romney up on the page.