YouTube's Role in the 2008 Presidential Race

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YouTube is changing the world in many ways. One way in which this entertainment medium, YouTube, should not be underestimated is in the way Presidential elections are won and campaigns are carried out. Not only will we be seeing a larger number of advertisements for and against our favorite Presidential candidates we will begin seeing them sooner than would have been expected in the Presidential campaigns of yesteryear.

YouTube, when it comes to political advertisements is free to use. This means that the costs are much less significant to a Presidential campaign than the cost of airtime on network television or radio stations. YouTube is also viral. The advertisements that are seen once by those surfing through YouTube find will often be shared through emails, blogs, website postings, and countless other methods we have for sharing information such as this in the information age.

With elections more than a year in the future it is amazing to watch as Presidential candidates and those who support them leak videos of debates, news interviews, and hand shaking sessions to video sharing sights such as YouTube and Google Video. In fact, this sort of Presidential campaigning might close the gap that high dollar donations on behalf of some candidates have made in the past.

Through viral video on YouTube and Google all who are willing to hear it can hear a Presidential candidate’s message. You will also find that YouTube and Google video are important in allowing the messages of the various Presidential candidates to actually be heard rather than drowned out by the information on the media favorites. In other words, the underdog just might have a fighting chance with YouTube, Google Video, and the World Wide Web as methods of sharing their message with the masses.

I believe we will see many new things in the coming Presidential elections. I also believe that few of the new tactics and plans we will see will have the impact on the actual outcome of the Presidential race that YouTube will manage to have. In fact, I believe the wide popularity of viral video and sharing information in an age that is dominated by ready access to information is going to change the way in which Presidential candidates focus their attention, their time, and their funds when it comes to the election process.

Those candidates that are ignoring the value of what has become known as Web2.0 are going to be left behind wondering what happened no matter how much money is being thrown into their campaigns. The bottom line is that if you are planning a political campaign you need to incorporate YouTube and other Internet media into your campaign. Whether running an election for county dogcatcher or the Presidential primary, failing to address the vast political landscape of the World Wide Web would prove to be a fatal mistake. Feed the YouTube video machine and it is not likely to bite your hand for doing so.

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