July 24th, 2007 by Wendy McAuliffe
It’s a risky idea using YouTube to host a presidential debate, and last night’s experiment certainly had its flaws and frustrations…but if one good thing came of it, it’s the realisation that there’s a global and active online community who wants to make a difference to politics.
The CNN debate enabled Americans to pose questions to presidential candidates through short YouTube videos. Nearly 3,000 videos were submitted – an impressive response in light of the disinterest that plagues global politics today.
Only 39 videos were selected for the two-hour debate, and there seems to be conscensus in the blogosphere today that many of the best videos were left out. But no suprises there!
The candidates did a great job of dodging direct answers, which in my mind was the single most disappointing result of the debate. We all know this happens in Question Time, but a YouTube debate should by its nature demand more transparency and honesty. Clearly the candidates have some learning to do on the behaviour of social networks, and how to go about building authority with their online audiences.
Finally, I leave you with a YouTube video from Faint Starlite, aka Esther, who sums up nicely why American youths don’t care about politics as much as they should.