YouTube Tackles The Davos Question
I hate to be a cynic, but I’m not sure if I’ll be able to help it. It is something, after all, and something unprecedented. Following the (arguable) success of the CNN-YouTube presidential debates, YouTube is taking submissions from users again, this time to be presented to world leaders as they gather for their Masters of the Universe Ball.
Well, okay. It’s not called that. It’s called the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Same difference, right? The faces along the top of WEF website pretty much say it all: Bill Clinton, Bill Gates, Tony Blair, Bono. It’s kind of a big deal.
The list of industry partners is impressive, too, made up of all the companies in the world that have, generally, created our current reality.
As the Masters of the Universe, then, gather this coming January to discuss the world’s pressing issues, Google and YouTube will be presenting them with user-submitted answers to the pressing "Davos Question," which is: "What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?"
YouTube users have until January 1st to submit their video answers.
Now, before you gasp and worry that answers like "We need more cowbell" or "More boobs in more places" will slip through to our world leaders, thus wasting the opportunity, you need to know there is a user-generated, wisdom-of-crowds, populist filtering mechanism in place.
The YouTube community will be ranking the answers, and the highest ranked solutions to the world’s problems will be featured at Davos. So, unlike the debates, the submissions will be filtered via the community instead of a group of CNN suits, who we remember ignored some of the better questions.
Still there’s a chance that the crowd gets unruly, which could be a lot of fun (or embarrassing for the populace), or even that the winning answer is deemed unfit by a Google suit – hopefully that’s not possible.
But here’s where my cynicism really kicks in: Though it’s a wonderful idea that offers unprecedented access to world leaders and an unprecedented voice to the populace, I wonder how many suits watch the presentation and respond, "That was cute; now back to building the empire."
Nay, there’s still hope I hope. And it seems like a good start.