3 Comments | Barack Obama, elections, Hillary Clinton, negative campaigning, negative viral, political campaign, politics, presidential campaign, You Choose, youtube president | Permalink
Posted by utubeblog
News: Here’s the latest viral video on YouTube. It involves no video, just a voice mail left by the wife of Dean Tistadt, Chief Operator of Fairfax County schools in Virginia. His wife, Candy, left this message for a student named Dave Kori who had earlier called their home. Suffice it to say that Candy doesn’t like students phoning.
Analysis: This is why I don’t leave voice mails, although I still love snow days.
News: Wall St. Journal has an interesting look at the effect YouTube has had on the presidential campaigns. The negative ad for “Hillary 1984” accounted for 75% of all candidate-related videos on YT in March. John McCain joking about “Bomb Iran” also drew much attention to him. John Edwards drew the 3rd most viewers, largely in part of the negative ad making fun of his hair. The campaign videos prepared by the candidates themselves don’t generate nearly as many views.
Analysis: This confirms something that we probably already knew: “Swift boat” attack ads work, at least in terms of generating views. Negative ads are decried, but they still capture much attention. With YouTube, now anybody with a computer can make a negative ad. That’s probably not a good thing. Steve Bryant at the NewTeeVee blog has some insightful comments.
I saw this negative ad when it was first posted on March 5, 2007. This past week, it was finally revealed that the poster claims to be sympathetic to the Barack Obama campaign, although he’s not affiliated with Obama.
There are all sorts of issues, including copyright ones, raised by the negative ad. I hope to discuss some of them soon. In the meantime, Wired has some analysis of the negative politics side.
News: On the front page of its business section today, NYT has a lengthy article entitled “A Student’s Video Resume Gets Attention (Some of it Unwanted).” Somewhat curiously, the article in a less sympathetic version is also entitled, more derisively, “The Resume Mocked ‘Round the World” on NYT’s website.
The article is about Yale student Aleksey Vayner. Vayner became (in)famous after a 7-minute video of himself he created and sent to investment banks got posted onto YouTube by The IvyGate blog. The video was a bit much in terms of self-promotion, featuring Vayner purportedly bench pressing 425 pounds, serving 140 mph tennis serves (that’s Andy Roddick territory), and breaking a stack of bricks with his hand. (The Utube Blog summarized the twisted course of events here).
After the video went “negative viral,” turning Vayner into almost the butt of derision, the Times reveals that Vayner went into seclusion, taking a leave of absence from Yale.
Analysis: This is a very disappointing article. Today’s sympathetic rewrite of the original NYT blog post avoids delving into some of the key aspects of the controversy, such as:
1. Copyright issues: The fact that YouTube took down the Vayner video after he complained about copyright infringement (which, to me, may be a potentially meritorious claim if some site continues to post the video without authorization), but the IvyGate blog then put up the video on its site and now the video appears to have resurfaced even on YouTube.
2. Fraud and fabrication issues: IvyGate blog has made many accusations that Vayner’s resume contains material misrepresentations and that some of his writings he plagiarized. The Times article mentions this controversy briefly, but largely leaves it as the elephant in the room.
3. IvyGate blog’s role: I am very surprised the Times does not even mention the source of most of the blogging venom and accusations against Vayner — the IvyGate blog. Isn’t that one of most important facts of the entire controversy?