The YouTube Election

Dear Prospective 2008 Candidate,

How are your election plans coming? Have you recently reviewed every bit of video that has ever been shot of you in your lifetime? Do you know who has those copies? Do you trust them? Who’s your director of video? Of internet marketing? Have you scripted every bit of video that will ever will be shot from today onward? What about all your crazy fans who are trying to help you out and bash the other guy?

Here’s the state of the nation from November 2008: Every American is a reporter. Every camera and phone and watch is a surveillance camera. Every waking moment is a virtual podium you are standing on. If you have something you want to say, maybe to a ‘specially cultivated block of voters, be sure you are willing to say it to every American in their living room, with their net-connected, video-enabled iTV. Oh yeah, your opponent has guys following you around too, at each and every stump speech. There is truly no where to hide…

And what about all the remixers? You know, everyone who does or doesn’t like you. The people that will take your video, your likeness, and edit it, probably in real-time, and deliver it to the masses before you can catch a breath or get a sip of water. The instant highlight reels with your inconsistencies, slurs, fuzzy math, double-talk and bad acting. Or maybe just a nice edit to a U2 song…

In the 2004 there was no YouTube, you could run your mouth and have fun with your buddies. In 2006, you just had to hope the opponent didn’t have a web-savvy intern or hungry internet marketing agency trying to make a mark, or a disgruntled neighbor’s kid with a camera and a high-speed connection. By 2008, you might as well by walking the CCTV-laden streets and Underground of London; though it’ll be much worse, everything will be mic’d and much closer to you and look like a cute high school student smiling at you. The cumulative whole of your behavior and life experience will be on display and a click away. Sounds like fun, at least for the voting public. Get a great night sleep tonight.

The Future

P.S. It’s cool too, because you can make your own clever ads on the cheap!

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