Web 2.0

Pioneers in new media, political analysts, and journalists met yesterday at The George Washington Univeristy to discuss how the Obama campaign changed the media landscape and how the campaign flourished in the new “political ecosystem” created by social networks and other online technologies.

Carin Dessauer led the discussion among Joe Rospars (Obama campaign), Tom Rosenstiel (Pew), Jose Antonio Vargas (Washington Post), Steve Grove (YouTube), Chuck Todd (NBC), and Mindy Finn (Romney campaign).

The focus of the evening’s discussion was on the Obama campaign’s use of new technologies to change the political landscape in terms of creating community, branding, messaging, tactics, and fundraising.

The facts and figures are impressive:

  • Over 1 billion minutes of watched YouTube political videos;
  • Obama’s blog was the most popular page on his website;
  • the Obama campaign created 1,800 videos, with 100 coming in the last week of the campaign; and
  • the videos had 110 million views, and there were ten with over 1 million views.

Today, 110 politicians have YouTube channels with videos logging 200 million views.  Change.gov also has a YouTube channel.

Steve Grove, from YouTube, said that campaigns must recognize that they are content creators, that campaigns need to listen and respond online, and new technology needs to be integrated with other media.

For observors and participants, the trends are exhilirating:  The world is thirsty for information and internet users consider access to information their “right”; anyone can be a publisher; and the changed landscape impacts education, business, and life beyond politics.

A limited set of photographs from the event is availble on Political Activty Law’s flickr page.

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