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YouTube Touts Political Influence

Not Obama Girl, silly, the Debates

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2008 could be the year of the YouTube Election, an argument the video sharing site made based on the participation of candidates and voters.

Those who may have snickered upon first hearing of the CNN/YouTube Debates may need to shift their thinking, if they have not done so already.

Steve Grove, Head of YouTube News and Politics, said on the official Google blog that YouTube provides a “leveling effect” when it comes to making a point politically. “Any voter with a video camera and access to the Internet has the opportunity to be seen and heard,” he said.

Those who do the best job at communicating rise to the top as they collect “community view counts, rankings, linkages, and embeds.”

The utility and reach of YouTube received validation as political campaigns made the site part of the campaign trail. Grove said seven out of the sixteen Presidential candidates announced their candidacies on YouTube.

The YouTube Debates for Democrats and Republicans demonstrated the leveling effect Grove mentioned. Eight thousand questions submitted on video opened the typically geographically-closed debates to a broader number of voters.

Grove expects YouTube’s role will grow as the campaign field winnows out candidates during the primary season. Perhaps one last debate between the Republican and Democratic frontrunners will be a YouTube milestone later in 2008.

YouTube Touts Political Influence
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