Obama's Weekly YouTube Address

For those of you who haven’t heard, Obama will be the first President of the United States to deliver his weekly address over video. Obama’s first address as President Elect went live Nov. 14, 2008, and is currently hosted on YouTube. Frankly, I think this is an amazing way to reach out to the public. I mean, how many people knew that President Bush had weekly radio addresses, let alone listened to them?

I do find it interesting that comments are disabled on Obama’s YouTube videos. Would full transparency not include feedback on the President Elect’s speeches? Perhaps they think that YouTube isn’t the best forum for discussing presidential mandates. YouTube has developed a less than stellar reputation for the quality of its comments. In either case promoting discussion is certainly one of the administration’s goals, so why disable commenting?

Another interesting point is brought up by Allen Stern over at Information Week (see article). Why is Obama exclusively hosting his videos on YouTube? There is no denying the ubiquitous nature of YouTube, but shouldn’t the Obama administration at least offer the original videos for download on whitehouse.gov or change.gov? That way users could upload the videos to whatever video sharing site they prefer.

It could also be that YouTube is simply a stop-gap until the administration has more time to figure out the best way to distribute the videos. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Obama's Weekly YouTube Address

  1. That is interesting that Obama’s people have disabled his comments, yet at the same time I understand. I think it is all a matter of safety issues. Like you said, comments on YouTube already have a bad reputation, and people could post slanderous or discriminatory comments about Obama. It is also interesting that Obama is only posting his videos on YouTube, you would think he would try and reach out to as many people as possible; however, maybe it is simply because he is not officially President…yet. Who knows?

  2. Many people accuse the younger generation that they are not interested in politics. Obama is arguing the case that the youth do care, they just had no outlet to voice their opinions.

    While the Obama administration is heading in the right direction with the YouTube video-address system, they need to take it to the next step. Not only can they reach the youth through these YouTube addresses, they should be able to hear their responses.

    Next step: Allow the comments!

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