Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lousy Republican Web Campaigns, Finally Statistics To Back It Up

Patrick Ruffini for techPresident wrote a killer article reinforcing our previous and obvious statements that the Republicans just can't keep up with net campaigning. You can see our take on QubeTV and John McCain. According to Patrick's article, Republicans invest just as much in the web as Democrats, but not nearly as much in their web staffs. Web staffs of course being young savvy folk that create effective content. Rather, most of their money goes to technical outsourcing instead of internal staffers. He backs this up with a very interesting spreadsheet. Here are some highlights:
While Republicans and Democrats are spending almost equally on their Web efforts, Democrats are spending dramatically more on in-house staff. Approximately 36% of the Democrats' Web budgets are dedicated to staff, while less than 8% of the Republican budgets are. Overall, the Democratic candidates have 39 people working in the Web departments while Republicans have 18, spread over 9 active candidates. That works out to an average of 5.6 staffers per candidate on the Democrat side, and just 2 on the Republican side, encompassing both frontrunners and also-rans. Obama alone has 10 people on his Web staff... and it shows.
Why is this important? Because it shows Republicans are largely outsourcing their Web operations to highly capable technical firms but don't have the boots on the ground to drive content, marketing ideas, and ensure that the effort stays relentlessly in synch with the campaign's message. It ensures that Republican innovation on the Web will continue to be more about applications rather than brilliant new ideas that get press, driving traffic and the self-reinforcing perception that a candidate has the momentum online.
Keep reading at techPresident.com

Human Tetris Round II

I've been in DC for a week. It was a fantastic trip. That is until it was time to fly back home. I spent two days stranded in the airport. I hate Delta. My brain is completely numb. Seriously, I feel like a retarded person. But I know that's not the reason I almost peed myself laughing from the Human Tetris Round II video. When I watched the first one I was completely coherent and still almost peed myself. This video's been up for nearly a month and hasn't cracked 400,000 views. Apparently, not everyone's sense of humor is as sophisticated as mine. This bad boy should have like 4 million views by now. So send it to your friends.

via Geekologie

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Simpsons Movie: Viral Marketing Follow Up

Our previous posts about the Simpson's Viral Marketing campaigns have proven to be spot on. The Simpsons Movie has shot to number one in the box office this weekend and grossed a solid $72 Million domestically - and a staggering $168 Million world wide. Fox's Marketing department deserves a raise, a bonus...or at least some Duff beer. They've really done well with what I feel is an inherently narrow American-esque style of comedy, and made sure that everyone in the world felt the buzz.

They had the real life Simpson's intro that's been seen over 15 Million times and then more recently had the Statue of Liberty clip, the Hollywood Sign clip, and the Seattle Space Needle clip, which all three clocked in nearly a million view each.

We'll never be able to accurately link Viral buzz to box office success with quantitative accuracy, but one has to offer this as positive evidence of the correlation. Check out The Daily Variety article on The Simpsons Movie's success here.

Viral Video of the Week: Beyonce Falls On Her Ass

It's sad to say, but this week's Viral Video of the Week is going to be a clip of pop star Beyonce Knowles falling on her butt during a live show in Orlando. Interestingly enough, I found this clip below today (which has been viewed over 1.3 Million times in 4 days), but the others which I had seen earlier in the week and more clearly showed the fall - have been taken off YouTube.

At least 5 other YouTube clips, totalling over 3 Million views have been stricken from YouTube - one of which entitled 'Ring The Alarm Gone Wrong' yields a message once clicked: This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Sony BMG.

Looks like the lawyers are involved in this one, trying to do some damage control in the wake of the viral phenomenon surrounding Beyonce's fall from grace. I highly doubt BMG would be this diligent and expedient if the concert went on without a hitch.

Well, for the time being, at least you have this one to watch. 35 seconds into the clip below, you can still see the beginning of the fall. Good times...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Mike Gravel In YouTube Spotlight, Comes Out Swinging

Mike Gravel gets right to it in the YouTube YouChoose Spotlight. Not one for chit-chat, after a brief introductory video, Gravel starts slinging the mud at rival Democrat, John Edwards. Gravel connects the metaphorical dots, illustrating how John Edwards' previous employer, Fortress Investment Group helped finance Humana Health, a predatory health care provider. Therefore, John Edwards profits from Humana despite his plan for health care reform. Is there truth to it? Well, I'm on vacation so I didn't bother fact checking. Regardless, for a baby candidate, Gravel sure knows how to make lots of noise. And the YouTube is listening...

YouChoose 08' Stats of the Week

In looking at the latest YouChoose stats, we can plainly see that Barrack Obama leads the pack with a robust 11 Million channel views - a full 8.6 Million more than the next closest candidate. We still don't know how this will translate to votes, but in the meantime in an environment where buzz and press make all the difference in the world, we have to assume that the interest online will have some impact and/or correlation with outcome. The latest YouChoose stats are as follows:

Barrack Obama has 11 Million channel views and 9,400 subscribers
Ron Paul has 2.4 Million channel views and 22,000 subscribers

Hillary Clinton has 770,000 channel views and 4,900 subscribers
Mitt Romney has 690,000 channel views and 2,600 subscribers

John Edwards has 590,000 channel views and 3,500 subscribers
Rudy Giuliani has 585,000 channel views and 2,000 subscribers

Bill Richardson has 520,000 channel views and 1,300 subscribers
John McCain has 450,000 channel views and 1,400 subscribers

Joe Biden has 260,000 channel views and 1,000 subscribers
Mike Gravel has 200,000 channel views and 1,900 subscribers

CNN-YouTube Debates Review: Top YouTube Question Was Censored

I generally liked the YouTube debate and can't wait for the the GOP version to occur. But, its recently come to my attention that number one topic and question submitted to CNN/YouTube was on impeachment - and YouTube did a bit of censoring. Here is the list of what was shown.

Here's the video according to Community Counts which was not shown to us:

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

CNN-YouTube: The Great Goatse Hoax Of 2007

A few weeks ago, if I remember this right, Scoble was quoting someone who was quoting someone else who was asserting that we are on the verge of major backlash against the blogosphere. That amateur citizen journalism is doomed because of it's inherent lack of fact checking and journalistic ethics. I initially wrote it off because it seems all the "news breaking" is done by entertainment and gossip blogs (which doesn't really count because what's really the difference between legit pictures of Britney's cooch and bogus reports of Sinbad's death?), and everything else is merely high-horse opinion, right? Well, then came the Great Goatse Hoax Of 2007. See, I was really impressed that CNN and the candidates would open themselves up to the people for a debate. And I thought it was an impressive show. It would be a shame if it was somehow "hacked." And then I looked at today's search traffic landings for Viralroots and it was strange that searches for "CNN-YouTube Debate" had "Goatse" strung along them. So I investigated. And I immediately found this Digg claiming that a goatse pic was spliced into a YouTube question and was shown on live on CNN for 1/24 of a second. And then I saw that even Wonkette was reporting this. So it must be true, right? Well... no. Not even. Just for LOLs, a blog created this hoax and some of the biggest political sites actually started reporting it as news. Since then, Wonkette has posted a correction, but this should be a major lesson. And it looks like the drive-by-media scores a point here, cuz not for nothing, I can't find a single legit news source reporting this story. The actual video as aired on CNN is above. As you can see, it contains no objectionable frames.

CNN Anchor Refuses To Read Lindsay Lohan Story

A question: Clocking in with 3 million views, did the video of Mika Brzezinski tearing up and refusing to read a report on Paris Hilton raise the bar for drive-by-media anchors? I pose this question in the wake of the emergence of a clip of CNN's Jack Cafferty refusing to read off the teleprompter about Lindsay Lohan's latest DUI arrest. It's hard to look at it from the inside, but at what point does a whisper on the internet bubble over into the mainstream zeitgeist? For politics, it was years of viral political clips, then candidates uploading their own, then a billion dollar take-over of YouTube by Google to finally lead up to last night's CNN-YouTube debate. But I don't believe that it's gotta be that complicated. I propose that, ya, we might actually be living in a world where one person pulling a "mad as hell" can be digitized, spread like wildfire and actually induce change. I think this is just the beginning. I think we're going to be seeing more news correspondents refusing the gossip stories and sticking to, well, you know, actual news.

Monday, July 23, 2007

CNN-YouTube Democratic Debate Update

The CNN-YouTube Democratic Debate starts in roughly 30 minutes. That should be just enough time to watch all 3000 questions submitted by YouTube Users. Watch the Debate live at cnn.com.

Mitt Romney Gets Heat For Controversial Sign

Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney is getting some heat after posing next to a sign that read 'NO TO OBAMA OSAMA AND CHELSEA'S MOMA.' a) I think its a bit of an underhanded smear to group Barrack Obama to the Al Qaeda evil-doer guy Osama Bin Laden b) It's also a smidge funny too, 'Chelsea's Moma', common, it even rhymes.

The best part is that Mitt claims he didnt read the sign before posing for the picture. “I don’t look at all the signs when I’m having pictures taken." He goes further to say, “You know what? Lighten up slightly, there are a lot of jokes out there. I’m not responsible for all the signs I see.” Kinda reminds me of the President Bush Mission Accomplished Banner. ahhahah.

Read the CNN article on Mitt here.

The CNN-YouTube Debate Is Upon Us

The much anticipated CNN-YouTube debate is tonight. Many are anticipating the debate to change the way we look at political participation. Hollywood Reporter Reports:
"It's the beginning of everybody figuring out what the role of new media is in the election process," said David Bohrman, CNN's Washington bureau chief and the executive producer of the debate. It's Bohrman's job to assemble the CNN campaign set, clear the technological hurdles of having made-for-Web video and audio translate into TV and, with a team of CNN staffers and moderator Anderson Cooper, decide which questions will make it to air.

"Literally anyone, anywhere has a chance to ask a question," Bohrman said. "They're unlike any questions posed to presidential candidates before."

A glance at YouTube, where the nearly 2,000 videos have been collected since June, proves it. The questions range from such serious topics as education, health care, global warming and energy policy to the kind of offbeat, humorous clips that YouTube is famous for. One pair from Tennessee, Jackie and Dunlap from RedStateUpdate.com, challenge Sens. John Edwards and Barack Obama to take off their shirts to see who is more buff.
Going into the debate, CNN puts Hillary Clinton ahead as the obvious frontrunner. Today's Rasmussen poll concurs, placing Hillary Clinton far out front at 38% followed by Barack Obama at a post-hype 25% and John Edwards at 14%.

Despite the format change incorporating YouTube into this debate, a Rasmussen Reports article suggests that the debates have little impact as polling shows that "46% of voters believe that the Democrats will end up nominating a white male in 2008."

As far as coverage goes, there's nothing on YouTube suggesting that they'll be streaming the debate live. A stream should be available at cnn.com. also DailyKOS is reporting that they have press passes and will be streaming coverage as the debate goes live. Their plan is for a panel of political bloggers to do live commentary from the spin room broadcasted over Ustream.tv.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Ron Paul Talks With Google

There has been "more questions for Ron Paul than any other candidate that has visited google," says Google's Elliot Schrage in the introduction to a 65 minute chat with Ron Paul. This interview is truly fascinating. Ron Paul discusses everything from constitutionalism to Iraq to NAFTA and free trade to taxes to prostitution to privatization to the gold standard and on and on.

Ron Paul is so rational and so eloquent. In other words, a far cry from all psycho libertarians of the past. I can see why he is so actively ignored by mainstream media. And I'll bet money that there will be active attempts by both parties to block him out of future debates like Ralph Nader was. Why? Because he presents a real threat to the two party system, which in turn threatens lobbyists and big business. His fiscal conservatism has gotta appeal to many Republicans and his moral liberalism has gotta appeal to many Democrats. And as for more polarized individuals such as religious pro-life Republicans and bleeding-heart social-welfare Democrats, Ron Paul's support of state's rights would allow for local regulation and taxation. Different regions have different ideologies so why should they all be governed by the exact same rule of law? Ya can't shake a stick at that. The major two parties really should be shaking in their boots.

See more candidates@google videos.

Michael Jackson's Thriller...

As Performed By The Inmates Of Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. Wow. It sounds like the title of a post-modern off-broadway play. Only with more talent!

Viral Video Of The Week: Simpsons Edition

I gotta hand it to FOX marketing. Between the Kwik-e marts, the jetBlue planes and the viral video campaign, FOX has definitely bought themselves a huge opening. The below video is a fake trailer for a movie entitled SPIDER-PIG. It uses the Simpsons Movie clips that have homer with, em, the spider pig. And just for laughs, let's take a look at the classic live actions Simpsons intro which has had over 15 million views on YouTube to date. See the Video.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Rudy Giuliani Talks At Us

So Giuliani's been in the YouTube YouChoose Spotlight for about a day now. I watched the video and thought he was crazy. Then I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and considered that I might be crazy. So I waited for some views, comments, replies and ratings to come in before discussing my opinion of the video. It turns out, based on the poor feedback and one star rating, that maybe I'm not crazy. To date, Rudy Giuliani is the only candidate to talk at us in the Spotlight. There is nothing inviting, engaging, thought-provoking or discourse-promoting about his video. He doesn't introduce himself or address the YouTube constituency. He doesn't ask questions. He doesn't invite video responses. Rather, he discusses his definition of leadership (a definition that essentially leaves the public, meaning you, out of leadership) and invites you to check out his 12 Commitments website which is first and foremost a fund raising landing page. There's a button that let's you send in your ideas, but there's nothing aggregating people's comments. Giuliani seriously needs to fire his web campaign people because frankly, I expected more from him.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Viral Marketing Watch: The Simpsons -Third Installment

The viral marketing campaign of The Simpson's Movie continues. The first video we found of the Statue of Liberty has clocked nearly a Million views and the second video we found, showcasing the Hollywood sign is up to 950,000 views.

This latest video shows a donut on the Seattle Space Needle and so far has nearly 650,000 views in just a day. I don't love it as much as the others, which look more authentic by attempting to look like they've been filmed from a hand held camera, but judge for yourself.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Text Message Cheney Out Of Office

A liberal hippie site, UsAlone.com, is harnessing sms text messaging in a new way, to impeach Vice President Dick Cheney. With a short text message, you can vote in their poll to show your support of impeachment. Last I checked, congress doesn't work quite like American Idol (at least not yet,) but a novel idea nonetheless.

PS, click here if you found this page searching for Out Of Office Text

Obama Girl vs. Giuliani Girl

From the creators of I Got A Crush On Obama. It's like a sexy political street battle pillow fight musical. These girls are so hot. And it can't possibly be good for rocking the vote. Cuz I just want to stay home, light a scented candle and touch myself.

Monday, July 16, 2007

The Impact Of Growing Up In the Digital Age

Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet is a new book by Kathryn C. Montgomery. It comes out on July 31st and is available for pre-order on Amazon.com. I've already ordered my copy and can't wait to read because I find the topic so fascinating. The Internet has been part of my life since I was ten years old dialing up to BBSs with my 2400bps modem and In my adult life I've been concerned with the impact that might have had, most notedly social, communal and even religious. The rules for socializing on the Internet are different than those in the real world. There is no law. There is no god. Boundaries only exist as defined by niche communities. It seems that disenfranchised young people (you know, the "weird" kids) might be more comfortable in front of their terminal than in the real world. If in their minds, the Internet is "Right" and the real world is "Wrong," think of the challenges that presents to society.

Review from Amazon.com
"Kathryn Montgomery brings clear thinking and empirical evidence to one of the most important and widely misunderstood issues of our time: how children and teenagers shape and are shaped by digital culture. Are 'digital natives' more or less engaged with civic matters? What are the effects of the commercial targeting of youth? How vulnerable are children to Internet pornography and online predators? What laws can protect both freedom of speech and the private lives of minors? Until now, many of the claims that advocates have made regarding these issues have been based on beliefs rather than evidence. Montgomery--a media scholar, activist, and mother--brings an encyclopedic and well-organized body of evidence to bear on a debate that has been confused by moral panics, uninformed analyses, and ideological agendas."
--Howard Rheingold, author of The Virtual Community and Smart Mobs: The Next Social Revolution

Book Description from Amazon.com
...The media have pictured the so-called "digital generation" in contradictory ways: as bold trailblazers and innocent victims, as active creators of digital culture and passive targets of digital marketing. This, says Montgomery, reflects our ambivalent attitude toward both youth and technology. She charts a confluence of historical trends that made children and teens a particularly valuable target market during the early commercialization of the Internet and describes the consumer-group advocacy campaign that led to a law to protect children's privacy on the Internet. Montgomery recounts--as a participant and as a media scholar--the highly publicized battles over indecency and pornography on the Internet. She shows how digital marketing taps into teenagers' developmental needs and how three public service campaigns--about sexuality, smoking, and political involvement--borrowed their techniques from commercial digital marketers. Not all of today's techno-savvy youth are politically disaffected; Generation Digital chronicles the ways that many have used the Internet as a political tool, mobilizing young voters in 2004 and waging battles with the music and media industries over control of cultural expression online.

Five Creative Internet Campaign Tactics

YouTube, MySpace, Facebook, blogs, we've been there, done that. Now, let's take a look at some of the more unique techie tactics to which candidates have taken.

First, There's text messaging updates. Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Barack Obama all have little fields on their websites that either allow you to enter your cellphone number or tell you where to send a message. Complete the step and you'll start getting SMS text message campaign updates. Regardless of how useful the updates are, it's always fun to go to Hillary Clinton's page and enter a co-worker's cell phone number as a practical joke.

Next, let's talk about the Ron Paul. There's a link on his homepage to Digg. Why? Cuz his supporters are the craziest Diggers ever. They'll click on anything if you tell them it'll help get Ron Paul some network media attention. 7000 Diggs to support Ron Paul getting on the Daily Show? It sounds a little like spam to me. But the Digg guys know better than to take it down cuz Ron Paul rEVOLutionaries would burn the Digg headquarters to the ground.

Next up is Barack Obama's very own Social Network built right into his website. It's an ambitious effort, but when you have the type of support that he has on MySpace, Youtube and Facebook, it's just redundant and excessive.

Now, Rudy Giuliani's got a weird one. As a fundraising tactic, Rudy wants you to start a baseball team. Go online, register a team of nine players. Each player donates $25 to Rudy. Do that, and you'll get you're very own Rudy Giuliani pennant! If your team raises $2008 you get your very own SIGNED Rudy trading card! And $5000? Get read for this one. You get your very own Rudy Giuliani signed Baseball! Yeah!

Last up is EONS. Eons is a social network for OLD people like babyboomers. So far I've found Hillary Clinton and John Edwards on there. Hillary Clinton even links to her Eons profile from her site. But it doesn't seem all that effective. Neither candidate has more than a handful of "Eons friends." It just goes to show how effective the web is with young people. So I hope the candidates keep up the creative web marketing and look forward to getting messages from Ron Paul on Pownce.

John McCain Press Staff Quits

Well, they always say these things happen in threes. More trouble in the John McCain camp today. ABC News Political Radar Blog reports:
On Monday, five McCain press aides -- including his three top communications officials -- quit en masse, just days after the campaign lost its chief strategist and campaign manager among dozens of aides being shed as part of aggressive cost-cutting measures.
When the first round of trouble hit the McCain camp last week, we celebrated his vibrant recent history but spared him from the Campaign Deadpool. Like a true Vietnam vet, McCain doesn't believe in exit strategy and will never throw in the towel. So, we're gonna have to do it for him. Rest In Private Sector, John McCain.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Jim Gilmore Drops Out Of Race

R.I.P(S). - Rest In Private Sector

Witty, right?

Republican underdog and recent YouChoose Spotlight-er, Jim Gilmore has officially dropped out of the primary race. He cites this election's earlier primaries as the main reason. Jim Gilmore is the first to join the Viralroots Campaign Deadpool. RIP(S), Jim Gilmore.

via Politico.com (Mike Allen)
Former Virginia Gov. James S. Gilmore III is dropping his underdog bid for the Republican presidential nomination today, his top strategist, he told Politico in an interview.

Gilmore said he has been approached about running for Virginia governor a second time, and about running for U.S. Senate if Sen. John W. Warner (R) decided not to seek reelection. Gilmore said he will consider both operations. Showing his interest in Old Dominion politics, he said he will start a political action committee to support Republicans running for the state senate and House of Delegate.

In the interview, Gilmore said the punishing financial requirements of the early-starting race caused him to decide that it was "impractical" to continue. "Because of the front-loading of the primaries, I would have basically had to stop campaigning and spend full time organizing hundreds of people to raise money for me," he said.

Later, his campaign issued a statement in which he said: "I have come to believe that it takes more than a positive vision for our nation's future to successfully compete for the presidency. I believe that it takes years of preparation to put in place both the political and financial infrastructure to contest what amounts to a one-day national primary in February."
Keep reading at Politico.com

Friday, July 13, 2007

Viral Video Of The Week

This week's Viral Video Of The Week is some good old fashion shock video goodness. Two guys on a motorcycle in what appears to be a high-speed chase, flip through the air like rag dolls after a head-on collision with a car. I don't even know what's real anymore.

RUNNER UP: WILL IT BLEND dares to do the UNTHINKABLE to an Apple iPhone. And unlike this jackass, they'll probably sell some extra blenders.

Hillary Clinton and John Edwards Video: Secret Discussion of Cutting Other Candidates From Future Debates

Hillary Clinton and John Edwards were caught on an open microphone by Fox News discussing limiting future debates to include fewer candidates.

On the podium with microphones still picking up ambient noise, Edwards is heard saying "We should try to have a more serious and a smaller group."
To which Clinton agrees, saying, "We've got to cut the number" and "they're not serious."

This is sure to enrage the lesser known candidates that have thus far proved to have equally solid messages and campaigns, who will increasingly find it harder to find the platforms to showcase them - especially if Clinton and Edwards have their way.

*By the way, the latest Rasmussen Report shows Edwards running at %13 percent compared to that of Clinton %38 and Obama 26%. Edwards himself is hangin on the fringe, if he isn't careful, he's gonna be talking about gettin' rid of himself.

Watch this video, it occurs about 60 seconds in:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

YouChoose Roundup

  • Ron Paul is still a genius, his supporters are still fucking CRAZY.
  • Mike Gravel has sexy elbows.
  • Hillary equals change. Change equals Hillary. Therefore, Bill Clinton looks like Bob Barker.
  • Barack: T-Mobile called. They want Barkley back. Seriously dude.
  • To All Conservatives: What did ever happen to that whole government,-keep-out thing? (See Ron Paul.)
  • John Edwards: Bye.

Okay. I'm done. And bored. Time to drink.

YouTube YouChoose Response Of The Week (Of The Year, Rather)

I have a new favorite YouTuber. It's Shelby Highsmith. His Video Response to Jim Gilmore is the funniest thing I've seen in a while. And I'm not just saying that because Shelby is the guy with the gun. Seriously. Check out Shelby's YouTube Channel and watch his response to Jim Gilmore:

Viral Marketing Watch: The Simpsons Continued...

We've found another bizarre YouTube video and it looks like we now have a second installment of a Viral Marketing campaign by Fox for their Simpsons Movie. Although in our first Simpson's marketing post on the Statue of Liberty video we thought that this might be done by amateurs, I'm not so convinced this is the case anymore.

With this latest finding, it would seem that Fox witnessed the first video get viewed nearly 980,000 times and decided to put out a follow up. This latest video was posted two days ago and has already clocked nearly 150,000 views. Either these are creative punk kids posting with their hacky CG skills cause they're bored after school lets out, or Fox is making it look hacky deliberately to gain street cred and authenticity...and their corporate marketing schemes are successfully infiltrating the viral world and are creating the buzz they've intended to. Check the videos out for yourself and you decide.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

John McCain: A Retrospective

With the eminent demise of John McCain's presidential bid looming punctuated by today's loss of McCain's top two aids, we see it fit to do a retrospective of McCain's foibles. From frontrunner to future NASCAR poster child (a la Bob Dole for Viagra), let's take one last look at John McCain.

As a new blog, we first talked about McCain on April 10, 2007 when he went rug shopping in Baghdad. An odd move, but we let it slide.

Next, we talked about McCain on April 17, 2007. He caught our attention for wavering on his initial support for increased troops in Iraq. At least retrospectively, this was probably a popular move.

And then the next day, things turned weird. An all new McCain emerged. He released a YouTube Video parodying Ocean's 13. It was meant to be young and hip, a VERY far cry from the McCain we've always been able to set a watch by. That was the first time I mentioned that such a tactic coming from McCain came across as dishonest and off putting.

And the very next day, the going got even weirder. The famous "Bomb Iran" video popped up on YouTube. That was a hell of a sound bite. By that weekend, MoveOn.org had already cut it into an anti-Republican advertisement.

Then things turned really bad for McCain. As you can see to the right, he dropped 4 points in the polls, which doesn't mean much on its own other than that was his biggest weekly drop to date. Oh. And in the middle of that, he appeared on The Daily Show and joked about putting an IED under Jon Stewart's desk and kicking a dog. The next day, April 25, 2007, was when I wrote the article predicting his political demise.

On April 25th, he was confronted on ABC's Good Morning America about the flack he'd been taking on YouTube, to which he defended his use of "humor." And we, of course, reiterated that he's not funny and that schtick would kill his campaign.

Then came an underwhelming YouTube YouChoose Spotlight for McCain. It was quickly followed by Dennis Kucinich managing to surpass McCain in Channel subscriptions.

Going into the May 3rd Republican Debate, McCain trailed Giuliani by 16 points. By this time, we were seeing less and less of McCain.

Oh June 20th, we talked about McCain's NASCAR video, which is really only funny and worth mentioning because I'm from Los Angeles and find NASCAR to be, well, funny.

On June 25th, McCain unleashed another little zinger. When he was questioned about dropping out of the race, he said that whoever thought that was "smoking something." Honestly, not a big deal at all, but these things are kinda cumulative.

And then, on July 2nd, word of McCain staff cuts and poor fundraising numbers hit the AP. And as they say, the rest was history.

Monday, July 9, 2007

QubeTV: Four Months Later And Still Not Savvy

It's been two months since we've covered QubeTV, the conservative alternative to YouTube. Back then, we said that the poor conservative web 2.0 presence is so much more an issue of a)savvy and b)demand, than it is of censorship. For instance, four months after launch, the Michelle Malkin video that was "banned by YouTube" (and was partly the reason QubeTV was created) still has had only 23,930 views and 110 comments. And this is the most viewed video on QubeTV ever! The second highest is at roughly 13,000. To put it in perspective, Michelle Malkin's VENT Banned by YouTube III since February has had 34,244 and 679 comments. And it's not posted on QubeTV. It's posted on what Michelle Malkin calls "Jihad Friendly" YouTube. The fact is, Michelle Malkin doesn't even post to QubeTV. And apparently, nobody else does either. Here's a look at their relative growth, or rather lack thereof:
And just as we discussed months ago, the site is still riddled with poor functionality and bugs. Look what happens when you go to their "Memes" section:
You land on a list of keywords with some sort of debug pop-up. I'm not entirely sure they know what meme means. And if you look carefully, the list includes "porn" and "iron maiden". Hmm.
And they're still missing very basic social functionality such as the ability to embed a video, social bookmark it, or send it to a friend. All you can do is Digg, but most of these videos aren't getting any Diggs. They have a Groups section, but it really should be called Message Board. It's a far cry from a Web 2.0 social feature. But don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that conservatives shouldn't have a site. I'm just saying there's zero upside to having one that is less cohesive, populated and user friendly than the conservative presence on YouTube. Jim Gilmore has a QubeTV account. His most viewed video has a whopping 80 views in a month. Gilmore's YouChoose Spotlight video has 317,000 views in less than a week. And not for nothing, YouTube exposure can seduce swing votes, which a QubeTV presence clearly will not. So all that said, if there's no young savvy conservatives willing to build a cohesive conservative video sharing site, than for better or worse conservatives are better off sticking to YouTube.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Blogging from the road

Now I'm on the road in san diego. The weather is fab. We're waiting for a table at the broken yolk so tried out google reader on the new blackberry. Its really cool. Its superfast in 1x evdo and really easy to read. Google detects what device I'm using and displays the pages accordingly.

A really good article about a study on the growth of digital video popped up on the Techcrunch feed. It shows some great charts illustrating the growth of streaming video use and social netwoking. According to the study 1 in 5 adults have visited a social networking site. I figure this would be a good article to test Blogger's mark up abilities in email posting. So first I'll paste the link in plaintext to see if blogger converts it and then with markup to see if it translates.


<a href="http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/07/08/video-social-networking-use-up/">Techcrunch</a>

Now how do I add labels?

Friday, July 6, 2007

Crush On Obama So Two Weeks Ago

This week, it's all hot for Hillary. Super hot model Taryn Southern is the star and WRITER! of Hott4Hill, a music video spoofing that Crush On Obama thing that's sooo two weeks ago.

According toTaryn Southern's Hott 4 Hill blog, she's been getting a great deal of feedback. Today they released the following statement:

via Hott 4 Hill:

Hi everyone!

I am so happy with the immediate response to the video. I've gotten hundreds of emails - from fans, detractors, you name it. Some people love it, some people hate it. That's comedy for you.

Just to clear up a few things, however:

1. Yes, the video IS a parody of the Obama-Girl video. I thought Obama-Girl was brilliant, so I decided to write a parody video using the only FEMALE candidate.

2. My 1st blog ("Letter to My Fellow Americans") was written tongue-in-cheek! While I do keep up on politics, I do not claim to have any serious political credentials. I only seek to entertain. =)

3. The kids - yes, the kids and their parents were all aware of the video content. Just like any other PG-13 movie, TV show, or web video with sexual innuendos, child actors and their folks are always aware of the content before they sign on. Working with all the kids was my favorite part about making the video!

Secondly, I want to say thank-you to all of the publications who have mentioned us!

We even had a german website talk about us! I have no idea what is says, but I'm still thrilled!

Viral Video Of The Week: iPhone Edition

As the iPhone hysteria continues, let's take a look at this week's viral videos riding the Apple wave. Coming in at number one is VirtualMagician with his neat little iPhone magic show in front of an Apple store.

Next, we got iPhone Smash 1 and iPhone Smash 2 by thatnimrod. Okay, this guy is seriously dumb. And not because he wasted money or wasted an iPhone like thousands of his instant enemies on YouTube are saying. He's dumb because of the reason he cites for smashing the iPhone. In this response video, he says he broke open the iPhone "to see if he could make any kind of deal" based on being the first to open an iPhone. In other words, this was a giant flop of a get-rich-quick scheme that cost $600 and resulted in over 2000 negative comments from pissed off YouTube users. Great job!

And finally, we have the poor guy caught on video dropping his iPhone on the sidewalk while taking it out of the box for the first time. Good times.

Chris Dodd Campaign Video: Field of Dreams (sorta)

Democratic Senator Chris Dodd recently posted a video of himself visiting the "Field of Dreams" in Dyersville, Iowa. I'm taking the time to note this for a couple brief reasons: a) I loved the movie and Costner is cool. b) This stood out to me as one of the more boring videos I've ever seen lately c) Dodd is dreaming of becoming a factor in the primaries. Ok, true, perhaps this is a bit harsh, and we wouldn't mind seeing him mix it up a bit, but Dodd's in the second tier of candidates and most polls have him in the low single digits. If he wants to become a factor, videos like this, without a significant point or interesting angle will continue to allow voters to forget about him. He, like the many others in the pack, needs to gain some points and the only way to do so is by 'wowing' us a bit. Check it out for yourself, apologies for the rant, but this could have been a cool venue/backdrop to reach us with a message - like his previous videos...

**In the past, I've enjoyed many of Dodd's postings (check this one out on Restoring the Constitution Act) and I think his dreaming of becoming a factor is laudable. But this Field of Dreams video is not like his others in Norwalk or Coralville.... or in Amherst. The Amherst speech was great, he comes across as informed, personable and spirited in his discussion on all topics important to him and the local communities he visits. The videos with no audio taken by a random staffer are not going to engage me like others. (ie, staffers making posters)

Dodd has a good positive message, I just wanna hear it when I spend the time to click on his videos.

Dyersville 'Field of Dreams' Video:

Amherst Video:

Thursday, July 5, 2007

YouTube YouChoose Spotlight On Jim Gilmore

Jim Gilmore is a Republican. And from his YouChoose Spotlight video, he presents himself as a real Republican, not a neo-con. See, the modern Bush Republican is all about censorship. Just like the Liberals, they believe that the government knows best and should tell you what you can say and do and own and eat and watch. But like Ron Paul, Jim Gilmore suggests that he's an advocate of personal freedom. Yet, he only discusses First Ammendment rights as they pertain to political campaigns, the right to bear arms, and the rights of private property owners. So, I asked him about other rights, such as abortion, FCC regulations and drug use. Let's see if he responds:
Mr. Gilmore, thank you for this opportunity to discuss personal freedom. I'm glad to hear that you oppose federal government infringement on the rights of individuals.
In your video, you mention constitutional rights specific to freedom of speech, the right to bear arms, and eminent domain. As far as free speech goes, is your concern solely related to campaign speech regulation or do you believe the government oversteps boundaries regarding explicit material (sexual or otherwise) as well? In other words, should censorship be left up to governments or to parents?
As far as personal freedoms, how would you compare and contrast the right to bear arms with a woman's right to choose? And likewise with illegal drugs? Do you believe that our freedom to ingest what we want is as important as our freedom to say what we want? Thank you for your time and your willingness to engage the YouTube community.

The History Of YouTube... In 3 Minutes.

The UTube Blog Put together this little flick about the history of YouTube. Oh the rumble in my belly every time I here that little 1.65 billion number...

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

The Star Spangled Banner (Acoustic) Happy 4th of July 2007


Follow Up To The Viral Video of the Week: 'Cops vs Skaters'

As a follow up to our previous Viral Video of the Week - we've learned that the cop in the 'Cops vs Skaters' video has been cleared of all wrong doing. An internal police investigation has determined that he acted within the legal boundaries of his position when he choked the teen skaters into submission. Read the article for yourself here. The Video has been viewed nearly 1.5 Million times...and was the sole reason for the internal investigation.
Here is the original posting and VIDEO.

Independence Is... Blogging From The Road

On the road in sunny santa barbara for fourth of july beach and bbq. Just testing posting from my blackberry 8830.

Monday, July 2, 2007

'Impeach' Banner Taken Down, Camera Catches Moment In Time

An interesting thing occured the other day, July 1st to be exact. (Yes, I know, I'm a day late, but hey...what are you gonna do, I ain't perfect) On a sunny Sunday afternoon in San Francisco, a few motivated individuals decided to unfurl a banner at the Giants baseball game that read simply...IMPEACH. This in it of itself is not actually momentus, but the notable point is that within a minute it was taken down by security. And within these 60 seconds of a window, one person with the power of a camera phone captured the moment forever in digital form. Yes theoretically, video of the game also caught this, but its the fact that its an individual and it was instantaneous - never to be withheld by stations or re-engineered by a network.

In the near future, this will be a camera phone, but it will be a minute long video clip, uploaded to a satellite, redirected to a website that same moment...and people logged into the website will view it like a television channel. There is no boundary to the power that comes with instant connectivity and only more of this sort of thing will follow, with better quality, faster and yes, from users like this Giants fan.

The original article is here.

Scooter Libby is Free!

Is it me or is there a severe lack of oversight to the political system in this country. Scooter Libby has been commuted by George Bush, which means there has been a complete eradication of a conviction record - making it seem like a conviction never even occurred. Bush considered his punishment 'excessive' and apparently has decided that he need not serve his 30 month prison sentence. Score one for politicians covering eachother's asses. Watch CNN video of this breaking news here. Read more here.

NASCAR Don't Vote: Cutbacks For McCain Camp

Reinforcing our ongoing observations that John McCain is campaigning the wrong way to the wrong demographic, it's recently been revealed that the McCain camp has undergone major cutbacks. And it sounds like they're struggling to stay afloat.

McCain Shakes Up Campaign
Jul 2 02:28 PM US/Eastern
Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republican John McCain reorganized his campaign Monday, cutting staff in every department as he raised just $11.2 million in the last three months and reported an abysmal $2 million cash on hand for his presidential bid.

"We confronted reality and we dealt with it in the best way that we could so that we could move forward," Terry Nelson, McCain's campaign manager, said.

Once considered the front-runner for the GOP nomination, McCain trails top Republican rivals in money and polls.

Some 50 staffers or more are being let go, and senior aides will be subject to pay cuts as the Arizona senator bows to six months of subpar fundraising, according to officials with knowledge of the details of the shake up.

McCain's tally in the second financial quarter, which ended Saturday, is expected to lag those of Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, who have not yet released their totals. In the first quarter, McCain came in third and raised just $13.6 million.
Keep reading at breitbart.com

Sunday, July 1, 2007

CNN promoting YouTube and Debates

This summer and fall, YouTube, CNN and any motivated citizens out there with a video camera and a laptop, will continue to push the boundaries of Media and user generated content by having presidential candidates answer questions submitted via YouTube videos.

We've all become accustomed to the candidates reaching out to the voters in an effort to connect to them (sometimes even in the form of silly queries for opinion on appropriate campaign songs) but the most significant element to this latest version of future viral content is the fact that CNN is partnering in the process.

Clearly, user generated videos are here to stay and instead of shunning them, CNN is becoming one of the first mainstream news networks to figure out how to work with and benefit from this experience. Is Fox News behind the curve on this? How much of a response will this actually garner? And...here's an interesting question, will our next president answer YouTube streamed questions once he (or she) is in office?

The first debate will feature the Democratic candidates on July 23rd in Charleston, South Carolina...and questions are to be submitted between June 14 and July 22. Good luck, we'll check back in soon to see what kind of response CNN, YouTube and the Candidates get from Joe Public. Check out the site here.