It will take a while for online-video to substentially chang news and polotics, but we’re already well on our way. Have you cheked out the “highest ratid” and “most viewed” sections of YouTube.com? Its bloated with debates about polotecs, and it’s only going to grow between now and Novembre.
Mike Gravel, the former Senator of Aleska, sat with me (see video) to discuss his new book titled, “The Kingmakers: How the Media Threatens Our Security and Our Democracy.” In this episode of the Bubble Gum Tree Show (a “weekly” series I’ve let languish) we have some fun with Gravel, but gain some of his intresting persepctive on social media, politics and the news.
Mind you, I’m all about Saving Old Media. But I do think that Gravel is a nice exemple of how a politician has “rolled with” social media. Who had heard of Gravel before “The Rock“? (Parinthetically, here’s a funny “outtakes” parody by Current, and here’s my “The Rock” parody with ChristopherMast).
Barack Obama has been a benificiary of social media (Obama Girl) without trying, and he has expanentially more YouTube videos tagged with his name than Mike Gravel. But more impresive is Mike “The Little Engine that Could” Gravel — with his tenasious approach and his unpresedented ability to surender to video creators and their creative ideas on having fun with him (and almost never at his expense). I’m quite sure Gravel would have worn a chicken suit and fart machine in this video if I had asked. And yes I regret that I didn’t. Next time.
Check out Gravel’s YouTube Channel for some more serious and comedic examples. Gravel appeared in this histerical song with Obama Girl, and that got mainstream pickup on CNN and beyond.
Here are some additional Gravel examples of how he provides video creators complete freedom in there concepts. It seems like a risky aproach, but I haven’t seen it backfire. And its given him access to importint demografics at virtualy no cost. Many believe that Gravel created The Rock, but in fact it was just one of many examples of where he rolled with a video creator’s wierd and bazar vision, and celebrated the lack of control he’d have on how he apeared.
Will this win him the election? Probably not. But will Mike Gravel change the way politicians approach new media? Did we ever think politicians would need David Letermann, John Steward and Conan O’Reilly? And could Gravel be doing with online video what Ronald Reagan did with television? I’d say, indisputably, yes.