has always been a tech savvy politician. He has blogged. He has used podcasts. He gave the keynote speech at Gnomedex (see here
). So it was not a big surprise when preannounced his candacy for U.S. President with a YouTube video
filmed in New Orleans. The video is called "Tomorrow Begins Today." The Washington Post reported
on John Edwards' use of non-traditional means to reach votes.
Nor did Edwards hope to spread his message by putting himself at the mercy of others. Like all candidates now, Edwards has his own Web site and his own videographer. As he did some volunteer work in the 9th Ward on Wednesday afternoon, he taped a message that his campaign posted later that night on his campaign Web site and on YouTube.com. What he said in that video was nearly identical to what he said to a bank of network and local television station cameras on Thursday.
Smart candidates know the old command-and-control structures of politics don't work anymore. Instead, campaigns are all about building communities and speaking directly to supporters, whether through email or podcasts or what the Edwards team calls "webisodes." As part of his announcement day, he spent a few minutes answering questions on the Daily Kos site, an influential liberal blog.
Candidates are looking for ways to get people more directly involved, by challenging them to give money not just to their campaign but to worthy causes; or by asking them to volunteer their time in New Orleans (as Edwards has done) or in their own communities, or by challenging them to take direct action politically to stop a war or a dam or to enact a piece of legislation.
The 24/7 culture demands dynamic messaging and niche marketing. Edwards offered a window into that future with his announcement day activities. By throwing out the old rules, he hopes his second bid for the White House will be more successful than the first.
that John Edwards' YouTube video was largely ignored by the mainstream press. A Google News search
for the keywords "John Edwards YouTube" generates just 57 results. That's not very many and some these results are blogs. Technorati shows 843 results
for the same keywords. But not all the MSM ignored the YouTube announcement. There is this mention
from the Chicago Tribune's The Swamp, which is a political blog. There are also articles, editorials and/or posts from the SFGate.com
, Seattle Times
, Winston-Salem Journal
and The Southern Pines Pilot, NC
A brief Associated Press article called the announcement a glitch
Former Democratic vice presidential nominee John Edwards jumped into the presidential race Wednesday a day earlier than he'd planned, prodded by an Internet glitch to launch a candidacy focused on health care, taxes and other domestic issues.
The North Carolina Democrat's campaign accidentally went live with his election Web site a day before an announcement Thursday that was supposed to use Hurricane-ravaged New Orleans as a backdrop.
However, Jeff Pulver's post
includes a copy of the text from an entry on the videobloggers mailing list that says the video was just uploaded by Andrew Baron from Rocketboom.com
. The date from the videoblogger mailing list is Wed Dec 27, 2006 6:48 pm -- so it doesn't like the Wednesday upload to YouTube was a glitch. Where did the Associated Press get the idea that this was a glitch?
Here are links to more coverage of John Edwards' YouTube announcement:
A post on Blogher has a good roundup of coverage.
John Edwards also a roundup on his own blog.
WebMetricsGuru analyzes the metrics of the YouTube video.
JFK was the TV President. John Edwards is The YouTube President according to Seth Godin.
The Free Citizen points to an Information Week story about Edwards' video and writes, "The advent of the internet's ability to reach millions inexpensively and without government regulation is one of the best things that ever happened for free speech and liberty. But if we are not vigilant, how long before the government steps in to regain control?"
The Daily Reel mentions a buzz over the Robert Scoble connection.
Search Marketing Gurus thinks John Edwards probably knows what a widget is.
More coverage at SmartMobs, Hootsbuddy's Place, BuzzMachine, The 463, Frank Barnako and Mashable.