YouTube Adds Official Congressional Pages

Daily News Article   —   Posted on April 24, 2009

Note:  This article is from the British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

(by Mark Coleman, Telegraph.co.uk) – YouTube, the internet hosting site, is being flooded with cringe worthy video messages from US politicians, it has been claimed.

Two months ago, the website added an official Congress channel, inviting Democrats and Republicans to share quirky political messages with voters.

But analysts say the move has been hampered by politicians’ inability to adapt to an online audience.

Andrew Rasiej, founder of the political technology site Personal Democracy Forum, said too many messages consist of warbling monologues that miss the point.

Other postings, including one by Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House, were said to be too eccentric or random to resonate.

In a minute-long video, Mrs Pelosi showed footage of her life behind the scenes in the Capitol Building through the eyes of two pet cats.

Making matters more bizarre, the minute-long film was captured to the strains of Rick Astley’s disco hit, Never Going To Give You Up.

Mr Rasiej said: “The problem for Nancy Pelosi, or anyone who tries to do this, is that you can’t fake authenticity.

“The more you try to make the video authentic, the more inauthentic it becomes. And Nancy Pelosi’s cat video is the perfect example of overdoing it, and watching one’s head disappear in a pool of quicksand.”

In another video, Democrat Tim Ryan promoted the virtues of driving an environmental car by referring to the vehicle as a “chick magnet”.

There has been some positive feedback, with many videos praised for their creativity and willingness to take a gamble.

But Mr Rasiej warned politicians against trying too hard to fit in with web culture.

He told Politico: “It is important that [politicians] understand it’s different culturally. They all need to relax. It doesn’t have to be perfect.”

NOTE: This article was first published on March 18, 2009 at the Daily Telegraph website.

Information appearing on telegraph.co.uk is the copyright of Telegraph Media Group Limited and must not be reproduced in any medium without licence. Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the Telegraph. Visit the website at telegraph.co.uk

Questions

1. When did YouTube add official pages for both houses of Congress?

2. What problems do our lawmakers have when posting YouTube videos, according to Andrew Rasiej (founder of a political technology website)?

3. Why were Nancy Pelosi’s YouTube posts criticized?

4. What do you think of Rep Ryan’s statement that environmental cars are “chick magnets”?

5. What positive feedback have politicians received about their YouTube posts?

6. Do you think this article was a fair evaluation of Congressional YouTube videos?  Explain your answer.

7. Visit the sites under “Resources” below to find the pages for your Senators and Representative.
a) Some do not post their party affiliation on their individual page. Do your reps do so? Do you think every rep should do so?
b) What do you think of your representatives’ videos? (e.g.: interesting, too wordy, position on an issue unclear? What would you like your representative to provide on their YouTube pages?

8. OPTIONAL: Send an email to at least one of your representatives reacting to his/her YouTube page. Remember to identify yourself (name, school, state), name the article you are commenting on, and that you read it at StudentNewsDaily.com. Be clear, concise and polite.
–To contact your representative, go to www.House.gov
–To contact your senators, go to Senate.gov

 

 

 


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Resources

Visit the House of Representatives website on YouTube at youtube.com/househub.
(Scroll down for a map to find your rep’s page.)

Visit the Senate’s website on YouTube at youtube.com/user/senatehub.
(Scroll down for a map to find your rep’s page.)