Political Technology

The NPI Web Video Event Now Available For All

The New Politics Institute held a terrific event on the exploding world of political web video last week. We had four outside experts come and talk about how to use this increasingly valuable new tool.

The event was well attended by those within Washington DC, and was selected to be covered by C-Span, which was rerunning the event for days. We had announced the event to those on our national list with the promise that we would video the entire thing and post it for all to see. (How could we not use the medium as the message?)

So here are the various ways to view the material: 

Here it is off the front page. You can  watch in a small screen there.

Then here it is anchoring the video page, with each part laid out, including each  speaker’s section, and each question  from the audience followed by the entire panel’s answers.

Then here is C-Span's version as flowed through the web. We have it on our Buzz page:

Stay tuned for more events in this video space. We will continue to keep pushing the boundaries with our ongoing “Re-imagining Video” series.

Peter Leyden 

Blair uses YouTube to congratulate Sarkozy

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, like other heads of state, was sure to congratulate Nicolas Sarkozy on becoming the newly elected President of the French Republic. However, the Prime Minister made his statement in a way that makes us at the New Politics Institute proud. He put his statement - in both English and French - on the official Downing Street YouTube channel. By using video and speaking French, which he does rather well, the Prime Minister really shows the effectiveness of using web video.

Are you an OPO?

From Jose Antonio Vargas at the WAPO:

Howard Dean's cometlike campaign in 2003 was the first to integrate the Internet into a presidential race, and Joe Rospars was there, a 22-year-old working as an "all-around Web guy" until the campaign suddenly collapsed.

Four years later, it's not just the upstarts, as Dean was, who have embraced online campaigning. And Rospars is part of a new generation of strategists who share a passionate belief that they can transform not just individual campaigns but also politics itself...

For these online political operatives -- or OPOs, as a few have taken to calling themselves -- the Internet isn't just a tool. It's a strategy, a whole new way of campaigning, a form of communication, from blogs to MySpace to YouTube, with far more potential than the old media of print and television. "TV is a passive experience, and the Internet is all about interactivity, all about making a direct connection," said Rospars, waxing expansive in the way all the OPOs tend to do.

Yet if it's understood that the Internet has a role to play in the 2008 presidential campaign -- voters are increasingly going online to find out more about the candidates, donate money and join networking sites, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project -- it's not yet clear how large the role of the OPOs will be. And the struggle between them and more traditional campaign operatives for influence over their candidates is likely to be a subtext at every headquarters, Republican and Democratic, in the next year and a half.

Jonathan Chait and TNR on the netroots

If you haven't read it already, check out Jonathan Chait's cover story from The New Republic on the netroots The Left's New Machine.  And American Prospect Senior Editor Garance Franke-Ruta has a reasoned critique of Chait's tomb over at her blogTNR Editor Franklin Foer says that the magazine will be publishing responses to Chait's piece in coming editions, let's hope that Franke-Ruta is one of the responders. 

Mobile media piece in the Times today

Times has an interesting look at the emerging space of mobile video today.  It is worth reading the piece in its entirety.  The big takeaway is the entertainment industry is working hard to figure this media out, believing it has huge potential.  Similar experiments will have to be made in politics.  An excerpt:

Many in Hollywood are betting that interest in mobile video will be hastened by the debut of the new touch-screen iPhone from Apple, which are expected to begin selling this summer. With a 3 1/2-inch screen and no cumbersome keypad, many people believe it will be easier for Americans to watch movies and television shows like their peers in Europe and Asia readily do.

“The iPhone is going to shake things up and make cellphone companies look like they are behind the curve,” said Thomas Lesinski, president of digital entertainment for Paramount Pictures. “It is going to be good for us.”

NPI Event: The Exploding World of Web Video

If you missed this week's NPI event don't worry, you can watch the video here and learn much more by visiting the New Politics Institute on the web at http://www.newpolitics.net.  Click on the names or images below to watch the videos.


       Simon Rosenberg                              Peter Leyden                                  Phil De Vellis     


           Daniel Manatt                                 Karina Newton

Obama to Dean: make video of debates available to public for free

Senator Barack Obama sent the following letter to DNC Chairman Howard Dean to encourage the DNC to make video from Democratic debates open to the public for free. Sort of off topic, but I wonder whether inciting citizen political participation was a good idea given the Obama campaign's recent MySpace incident.

Dear Chairman Dean:

     I am writing in strong support of a letter from a bipartisan coalition of academics, bloggers and Internet activists recently addressed to you and the Democratic National Committee. The letter asks that the video from any Democratic Presidential debate be available freely after the debate, by either placing the video in the public domain, or licensing it under a Creative Commons (Attribution) license.

     As you know, the Internet has enabled an extraordinary range of citizens to participate in the political dialogue around this election. Much of that participation will take the form of citizen generated content. We, as a Party, should do everything that we can to encourage this participation. Not only will it keep us focused on the issues that matter most to America, it will also encourage participation by a wide range of our youth who have traditionally simply tuned out from politics.

     The letter does not propose some radical change in copyright law, or an unjustified expansion in "fair use." Instead, it simply asks that any purported copyright owner of video from the debates waive that copyright.

     I am a strong believer in the importance of copyright, especially in a digital age. But there is no reason that this particular class of content needs the protection. We have incentive enough to debate. The networks have incentive enough to broadcast those debates. Rather than restricting the product of those debates, we should instead make sure that our democracy and citizens have the chance to benefit from them in all the ways that technology makes possible.

     Your presidential campaign used the Internet to break new ground in citizen political participation. I would urge you to take the lead again by continuing to support this important medium of political speech. And I offer whatever help I can to secure the support of others as well.


Barack Obama

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

A great NPI event today

We had a great NPI event in DC today on web video.  We will have our own video up soon, and photos, but if you are really dying to see it it is playing a lot on C-Span, and you can watch it on the web on the C-Span website right now.   Congrats to Pete Leyden and the team for putting on one of our better events.   For more on NPI and its thinking about web video visit www.newpolitics.net.

Barack Obama loses friends

In an effort to migrate to an official MySpace page, Barack Obama lost about 80-90% (according to techPresident) of his friends that were on his unofficial page. More on that here and here. To read what happened as told by the creator of the unofficial page, Joe Anthony, click here. I'm interested to see how this plays out, and to see what you think, as Obama seems to have lost over 100,000 friends.

UNRELATED UPDATE: (via Tim Chambers) Endorse Barack, a new site that is a " central point for petitions where grassroots citizens call for our elected officials to endorse Barack Obama for President" is now up.

For more information on NDN's coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, click here.

NPI Event Reminder: Tomorrow 5/2 - The Exploding World of Political Web Video

Join the New Politics Institute tomorrow for a special event on this exploding world of political web video, including:

Steve Grove, News and Political Editor, YouTube.com, on the role of YouTube and web video in politics.

Karina Newton, Director of New Media, Office of Speaker Pelosi, on how web video is being used for governing.

Dan Manatt, founder and executive producer for PoliticsTV.com, on how any organization can immediately start using web video.

Phil de Vellis, aka ParkRidge47, an important political web video innovator, on how progressives can use the new tools to make powerful, political content.

Jeff Weingarten, President, Interface Media Group (IMG), on how Presidential campaigns are using web video.

As always, the event is free and lunch will be provided. Video of the event will be posted on our site for those who cannot make it or are out of town. Please RSVP if you can come, and in the spirit of the new medium, feel free to spread the word.

The Exploding World of Political Web Video

Wednesday, May 2nd

12:00PM - lunch will be served

Phoenix Park Hotel

520 North Capital Street NW, Washington DC

For more information or to RSVP you can contact: Tracy Leaman, 202-215-2224, or tleaman@ndn.org

Learn more:

Watch The Political Web Video World

Read Julie Bergman-Sender's NPI paper Viral Video in Politics: Case Studies on Creating Compelling Video


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