NDN Blog

The Quality of so-called Bottom-Up Video

If you have not done it yet, you should just go to youtube.com and check out various videos in order to get a sense of what this bottom-up video phenomenon is all about. A random visit runs the risk of you only coming across silly things that are poorly done – and that lead you to believe that the whole development is useless. Don’t fall into that trap. There are all kinds of gems sprinkled in there, and they point towards more amazing productions to come.

I came across this random video from two young guys who probably are worth keeping an eye on. It shows how the simple tools of digital cameras and inexpensive editing software can come up with very funny and well-done pieces. These guys might be on their way to making a living doing this, or maybe it will remain simply a creative outlet. Either way, it proves the point. This new video distribution system is going to open up the playing field for many new talents, either professional or amateur. And those new players are bound to impact politics.

Peter Leyden

Beyond YouTube: The Explosion of Bottom-up Video

The New Politics Institute has been talking about how the use of digital video off the internet could impact politics this year. In fact, on Thursday we will be holding on event on Capitol Hill on The Powerful New Political Tools of 2006, which features how to use viral video, among other tools.

However, a story in the San Francisco Chronicle this week gives a good sense of how the whole internet video space is exploding as we speak. It overviews the whole space and references 240 websites that are organized around video. This business story focuses on how the proliferation of sites in this sector is reminiscent of the 1990s and how a shakeout can be expected, with larger companies buying the best of the smaller ones, and venture capital money trying to scale a few of the most promising.

The story is useful even for the casual reader because the frenzied business environment usually prefaces a more stable environment for consumers and users. Get ready to start using these sites.

The online story also lists the top 10 video sites with links. YouTube tops the list, with more than 40 percent of the traffic, but others are worth checking out too.

Peter Leyden

Tracking the Conservatives' Mastery of Niche Marketing

The New Politics Institute is mostly focused on what progressives can do to take advantage of the current wave of new media and new tools and connect with emerging constituencies. However, when it was founded a little over the year ago, we said we wanted to keep closely watching the conservative strategy too.

A new book is just coming out that should be useful in that regard: One Party Country : The Republican Plan for Dominance in the 21st Century, by Tom Hamburger and Peter Wallsten. These LA Times reporters look closely at the niche target marketing strategy that the Republicans executed in the 2004 election and their plans to keep tipping the country to their camp. The book is not out yet and I haven’t read it, but I used to work with Tom Hamburger and expect it will be excellent. George Will essentially reviews the book in his column in this week’s Newsweek and you can get a sense of the plan on the other side.

Peter Leyden

An NPI DC Event on The Powerful New Political Tools of 2006

The New Politics Institute is putting on a terrific event in DC on Thursday, July 20th. Please come if you are in the vicinity, but even those outside the area might want to take a look at this lineup of topics and people, many in the formal NPI community. And we might be doing a simultaneous webcast, though we will know more about that later. What follows is the email we sent out to locals:

The Powerful New Political Tools of 2006
An Event on How Progressives can Leverage an Array of New Tools and New Media Right Now

There are a wide array of new tools and new media being used by early adopters in the public and private sectors that are totally ready for prime time in politics not someday, not next year, but right now. Come and learn about what they are and how progressives can use them at a New Politics Institute free lunch event from 12 noon to 2 pm on Thursday, July 20th at The Phoenix Hotel at 520 North Capitol Street, NW.

The New Politics Institute will give an overview of the new political opportunities emerging today based on the latest wave of new tools and new media. We then will have short presentations from top innovators and experts in half a dozen critical areas, followed by a strategic conversations between them and the audience. The topics include:

Paid Search Advertising: Jim Lecinski, Midwest Regional Director for Google, leads advertising and operations for Google's major Midwest clients, with nearly 20 years of integrated marketing and online advertising experience. He will explain why Google sold $6 billion in paid search ads last year and how political actors can start to use this outlet too.

Viral Video on the Internet: Julie Bergman Sender is a longtime motion picture executive and producer who produced the well-known viral video in the 2004 cycle starring Will Ferrell playing George W. Bush with horses on a ranch. She will talk about harnessing the explosion of professional and bottom-up digital video on the internet.

Blogs and Next Wave Internet Innovations: Jerome Armstrong is coauthor of Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics, and is internet strategist for Governor Mark Warner’s presidential campaign. He will talk about a range of new internet innovations that are just emerging.

Mobile Phone Media: Tim Chambers is an NPI Fellow who recently served as Sony Corp of America’s Senior Vice President of Advanced Media Platforms and just started his own company, Media 50 Group. He will talk about how those in politics can get onto mobile platforms.

Getting More from TV Ads: Theo Yedinsky, NPI’s Senior Advisor, will speak about what is still a new imperative within progressive political circles: to shift more ad spend from broadcast television to more cost-effective and targeted cable buys.

Speaking in Spanish: Simon Rosenberg, President of NDN who has led a national Spanish language media campaign using soccer and the World Cup, will speak about using Spanish language media outlets to get progressive messages out to a vital and growing constituency.

This event is one of a series presented by the New Politics Institute, a think tank helping progressives master today’s transformation of politics due to the rapid changes in technology, media and the demographic makeup of America. NPI is building a working network of top technology, media, and demographic professionals who want to help move best practices and new innovations into progressive politics. We are developing a body of useful reports that can be found at: www.newpoltiics.net

For more information on the event contact: Tracy Leaman, 202-842-7213, or tleaman@ndn.org

Feel free to spread this announcement around. The more progressives who understand the powerful new tools and new media we now have at our disposal, the better. Thanks.

Peter Leyden
Director, New Politics Institute

NPI Fellow Jennifer Nix lays out the new tool of quick books

The New Politics Institute's new fellow Jennifer Nix has written an excellent case study in the most recent The Nation about how progressives can leverage the new tool of quick books. Her How to Create a Liberal Bestseller is a magazine article, but it could also be considered as part of NPI's growng body of work on how to use a burgeoning array of new tech, new media, and new tools. She explains, among other things, how she was able to take advantage of the progressive blogosphere to catapult Glenn Greenwald's new book How Would a Patriot Act? to a New York Times bestseller. Nix has now refined a proven approach to get big ideas from progressives quickly into relatively small, readable books that can immediately impact the public debate.


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