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Republican vlogger David All urges George Bush to come onto YouTube to charm the youth vote for the GOP. Yeah. Right. That'll be a cold day in hell. Or a peaceful day in Iraq.
* ALSO: Here's All with Jerome Armstrong interviewing Ron Paul, asking him why he calls himself a Republican:

A pro’s advice for the candidates

I asked Fred Graver -- who makes real TV at VH1's Best Week Ever and Acceptable.TV -- what advice he has for the candidates and their online video and got a smarter answer to that question than I've gotten yet. And funnier. Because Fred knows funny. Enjoy:

Mobilizing for “Macaca”

Kos gives orders to his troops, telling them to record every moment of every Republican candidate's appearances:
Every appearance by a top Republican official or candidate should be recorded. Every one of them. All it takes is one "Macaca" incident to transform a race or create one where one didn't exist. As the Montana incident blogged earlier today showed, a video can knock out prospective candidates before they even enter. And this is no longer about finding one big blunder to put on a campaign commercial. It's about using video and (free) technologies like YouTube to build narratives about opponents, using their own words, at their own events. It's never too early to start. We've got a long, difficult slog ahead of us next year. The more material we amass today, the better we'll able to use that video to support our efforts next year.
Well, I'd say he should also be ordering them to shoot every moment of every appearance of every Democratic candidate -- for why not create your own narrative rather than leave it to a bunch of GOP shooters? (via TechRepublican)

Advice for the candidates

At the Personal Democracy Forum,'s Dina Kaplan gave a great set of advice to the candidates on how to better use online video. She also challenges a party to make its own 24-hour online channel, with comedy, even (a straight line: most of what they do is comedy already). The lighting was horrible, so my shooting makes Dina look like a tanning-bed addict. Ignore that. the advice is great:

PDF: David All

At PDF, I turn the camera on David All of DomeNation and TechRepublican talking about the candidates on video:
* LATER: It's so good, you can watch it twice. All's camera guy shot me shooting All.

PDF: Josh Marshall

At the Personal Democracy Forum, I ask Talking Points Memo's Josh Marshall his advice for the candidates to make better use of internet video and he urges them to tear down the fourth wall. He ways we are in "a broad revolt against formalism," which is just a smart way of saying we are sick of being scripted and spun.

PDF: Reach out and touch someone

Danah Boyd, one of the great students of online interaction, is speaking at PDF and suggests that candidates leave their digital spaces and reach out to their MySpace friends (or equivalent on Facebook or YouTube or blogs) and leave a comment there: interact. But, she hears, as do I, the candidates do not have time to do this. I hear is said they don't have time to blog, either. Or vlog. And that seems to make sense. But as Danah points out, candidates go to events -- fish fries, coffees, churches -- where they shake hands with a few people people and that's important because it's real. Well, the equivalent now is to reach out "and it's about literally going and digitally shaking hands." And there are more advantages: The handshake lives on. It's visible and linkable.

PrezVid Show: A response to Edwards

In response to his YouTube spotlight video, I have an entirely frivolous yet still sincere suggestion for Sen. John Edwards that can change his image and the tone of the entire YouTube discussion. I'm frustrated that Edwards and Mitt Romney before him are using the YouTube Spotlight to say nothing and, in fact, to ask us questions when they're the ones who should be answering questions. Edwards -- apparently competing with Barack Obama for the Kennedy mantle -- asks us what we will do to affect change (but without the classy accent and grammar: 'Ask not...'). Well, what change? And we're not the ones asking for votes here, you are. So why don't you tell us what you are going to change and how. I agree with this science teacher who turns the tables on Edwards -- as I did on Romney -- and asked him his own question back. YouTube presents us all with an unprecedented opportunity to discuss issues. Let's not waste it.

Uh, hello?

The presidential candidates are neglecting the video duties. Obama hasn't uploaded a new video to YouTube for five days. Clinton hasn't put up a new one in four days. Edwards has been unseen for a week. Many -- too many -- of the videos they're putting up are from TV appearances or from loud rallies. If you want to use this medium as a conversation, people, then you have to converse. As any blogger can tell you, if you don't blog regularly, you won't be read (or watched) regularly. This is like starting a TV show and then making us guess when you're going to put out the next episode. You're not the Sopranos, folks. You need to get on a regular schedule of talking with us or we won't be listening. Just some friendly advice.

A visit with Webcameron in London

While in London, I went to the Conservative Party headquarters -- new and sparkling white, with a view of the river just down from Parliament -- to meet Sam Roake, who's making his leader, David Cameron, a star of small TV. I wanted to hear his advice for the American candidates now dabbling in the TV of the people. Roake is a personable, low-key, and smart chap in a suit with no tie, the uniform of our next leaders. He's a veteran of Google AdWords. Yes, Google will take over the world. And then no one will wear ties. 2007, Roake says, is the year of video and social networking. He sees the two closely linked. The web team -- which so far is Roake and one colleague -- have Cameron answer five questions a week from voters, three of them voted up by the public, Diggishly, and two he selects.
Then they have videos of him "out and about" anywhere in the world, talking to the camera with his thoughts and experiences. That happens about three times a week, but Roake said they'd do more with more resources -- that is, one more staffer.
He says Cameron's videos need little editing. Once they're done, they go up on his site and on YouTube. Roake argues that the videos enable their man to speak directly with voters and it helps them present their man in a candid, human way. "To be genuinely candid," he says, "you have to talk about yourself as a person." He says that to make this medium work, politicians have to switch "out of politician mode." The videos have been remixed and spoofed. But that hasn't worked to the party's disadvantage, Roake says. A labor MP made a parody of Cameron's video and -- I heard this tale from 18 Doughty Street's Iain Dale as well -- it was so far off the mark (like a cringeworthy late-night skit), he had to apologize. The people from the show This is a Knife also made a parody called Blind Dave. And see the video by pioneer Parliamentary blogger Tom Watson tweaking Webcameron but wishing Labor had its equivalents:
Not having snit fits about all this apparently makes it look as if Conservatives have a sense of humor. They also want the videos to show that Conservatives are open and innovative. Roake says Labor isn't doing this because they are "more focused on control." Roake acknowledges when I ask that it's a bit different for the party in power. But then I ask whether they would continue their video strategy if they took power and he says they'd pretty much have to. "If it suddenly stopped, that would be seen as a very cynical move," he says. The form would "evolve as the job evolves.... You can't stop communicating." This, Roake says, is a "new stage of politics" that is about a "sustained dialog with the public." This was the kind of talk we heard from Gordon Brown about blogs at Davos. Once Brown ascends to power, I suspect they'll be tripping over themselves to seem web-cool. As a head-of-state vlogger, Germany's Angela Merkel already beat them all to the punch (though with a characteristic and militant lack of flair); she, too, is answering citizens' questions online (here, auf Deutsch). Coming soon: Fireside vlogging. The White House Show with ___________. But Roake emphasizes that vlogging isn't the same as old TV though the American candidates are still treating it as if it were. They are broadcasting. The audience is different, he says, and the medium is different. His advice for our vlogging pols: Don't make the videos scripted and spun. Involve the voters: respond to them and address them by name. "See them as people who want to engage with you." He says they need to be "personal, open, spontaneous." Have someone with a camera along as much as possible to capture "off-the-cuff moments." If you just have someone come 15 minutes a week to get one video, it won't work. If you show events with lots of people, he says, balance that with more personal videos. Don't sweat the production value. Now, of course, it's hard to believe that everything in politics isn't always spun. Saying you're not spinning is spin. But I take the point: don't shrink-wrap the message and the candidate. I ask why he thinks that the leaders in small TV in Europe tend to be conservative -- Cameron, Sarkozy -- while in the States, it's the liberals who've taken the lead. Roake acknowledges that "a lot of it has to with being in opposition" and not immersed in the business of government (the podcasting, vlogging Merkel excepted). Then he spins just a bit: "The conservatives are less of a top-down government." Roake plans to help small TV spread in his party, getting more MPs to join the fun, joining a few leaders, including blogging Boris Johnson and vlogging Grant Shapps. He says that "any party serious about engaging in social media could do it." And will.

PrezVid Show: Advice for Obama

Some simple PrezVid advice for Barack Obama: Say something.

PrezVid Show: Advice for McCain

The latest PrezVid show offers advice for John McCain, who unveiled his new web site this weekend with new videos.
McCain's videos may be ready for prime time, but not for YouTube. He doesn't speak directly to those of us who are clicking; he speaks off-camera, as if this were an interview, or he speaks through music and polished production, as if this the video were intended for the giant screens at a nominating convention. He doesn't yet understand that this is a conversation, one-on-one. He appears on an antiseptic, white background, nothing like the homey atmospherics of other candidates' videos; it's as if he's trying out for Star Wars, not the White House. But McCain has one good idea: He solicits questions for his virtual town hall via YouTube. This means that -- unlike in Hillary Clinton's tete-a-tetes -- we will get to see which questions he has the guts to answer and which not. I wonder whether they realized that. * To embed this video on your blog (please) cut-and-paste this code:


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