Guerrilla Vlogger: Edwards, Lamont, Patrick and People Powered Media

Cross-posted at DailyKos

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usI've been getting more and more into this citizen journalism thing all summer at OAC blog. I think this is more than just a new kind of blogging for me. I think the next presidential election cycle will witness a whole new kind of emerging media. We're seeing glimpses of it now, but in 2008 this new YouTube people-powered journalism could take off. The new media will be the kind that uses websites like this and sites like YouTube to deliver Citizen Generated Content, stuff that we make and not the campaigns.

A reporter at the Gnomedex conference in Seattle last June asked the room, "Blogs were the big story the last time around, what will the story be next time around?"

Video: What's Next? (2:34)

Follow me below the fold to discuss how we become the story next time around.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usThe Conventional Wisdom on YouTube:

The current state of Conventional Wisdom on citizen-generated media/content, CGM or CGC, is not very insightful by and large. The New York Times ran a piece a couple of weeks ago discussing the YouTube - gaffe phenomenon a la George 'Macaca' Allen (is he still running for something?)

Candidly Speaking: The YouTube Election

By Ryan Lizza

August 20, 2006

AUGUST, usually the sleepiest month in politics, has suddenly become raucous, thanks in part to YouTube, the vast videosharing Web site.

Last week, Senator George Allen, the Virginia Republican, was caught on tape at a campaign event twice calling a college student of Indian descent a "macaca," an obscure racial slur.

The student, working for the opposing campaign, taped the comments, and the video quickly appeared on YouTube, where it rocketed to the top of the site's most-viewed list. It then bounced from the Web to the front page of The Washington Post to cable and network television news shows. Despite two public apologies by Senator Allen, and his aides' quick explanations for how the strange word tumbled out, political analysts rushed to downgrade Mr. Allen's stock as a leading contender for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination.

YouTube's bite also hurt Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, who was defeated by the political upstart Ned Lamont in Connecticut's Democratic primary earlier this month. In that contest, pro-Lamont bloggers frequently posted flattering interviews with their candidate on YouTube and unflattering video of Senator Lieberman. The Lamont campaign even hired a staffer, Tim Tagaris, to coordinate the activities of the bloggers and video bloggers.

When politicians say inappropriate things, many voters will want to know. Now they can see it for themselves on the Web.

But YouTube may be changing the political process in more profound ways, for good and perhaps not for the better, according to strategists in both parties. If campaigns resemble reality television, where any moment of a candidate's life can be captured on film and posted on the Web, will the last shreds of authenticity be stripped from our public officials? Will candidates be pushed further into a scripted bubble? In short, will YouTube democratize politics, or destroy it?

Is it me or is that a stupid question? Sorry Mr. Lizza.

Mr. Lizza focuses too much on the risk adverse angle he hears from professionals and how they feel about YouTube these days. Let's face it if your candidate is stiff and boring then they aren't going to do well with more coverage at all. In that case you want to restrict coverage and script everything.

I think the idea of YouTube changing the story is that YouTube means we generate the content and not the campaigns. That's a big difference. Whatever you end up posting will more than likely be put together from remarks a candidate gives in public, so not every waking moment need be captured to YT. The candidate can certainly craft their remarks anyway they like, but the candidate has no control over the conversation that ensues during one of these vlogs. That's one of the great things about these types of diaries.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usEdwards went out to Seattle to a tech conference last June, Gnomedex 6.0.

They had a raucous and interactive discussion on politics, media and technology. This conversation amongst the techies and Edwards fits nicely into this discussion about new media and new technologies helping to create content and dialog. So let's look at what they talked about a bit.

Although the conversation kept coming back to the politics of the day, much to Chris Pirillo's chagrin, a couple of themes were prevalent in the discussion:

Video: Gnomedex Access (4:41)

Give us access! This exchange also gets into the desperate need for authenticity in American politics today.

  • Put a blogger on the bus
  • "Top Down kills engagement. Just kills it."

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Video: Gnomedex Authenticity (8:22)

Long exchanges, but great. Discussion hits on:

  • The sorry state of our political discourse vis a vis George Lakoff's book: Don't Think of an Elephant.
    Edwards: "Issues don't decide Presidential elections."
  • Credibility. Edwards: "All trials are a battle for credibility," more than anything else.

Video: Red Diaper Baby (3:41)

Friday Fun clip? Buzz clip? Banana clip? Marc Canter tells Democrats far and wide to grow some. Edwards replies, "Now I don't want you to hold back."

Access. What does access look like?

Video: Ned Lamont - Access CT (4:29)

Video: Edwards - Access CT (5:01)

Video: Edwards - Access Iowa, Pittsburgh (2:50)

Kos was pleased that Lamont and Edwards chose to give a press conference to the bloggers that was closed to the press and so was I. I was there with about 20 other bloggers, mostly from My Left Nutmeg and Connecticut Local Politics. I also met Christine Stuart from CTNewsJunkie and do you know what September 5th is kiddies? Check out ctkeith in New Haven for a heads up on Tuesday morning in Joe's neighborhood. Can anyone get down there to get some video? Anyone?

Authenticity. That might look like this.

These clips show how much more powerful and authentic a 3-minute clip can be compared to a 10+ second sound bite offered on the news. The latter is the best that we can hope for in the broadcast media. Not having control of the content can be difficult for weak candidates, but all candidates can benefit from this type of CGC on YouTube. This amounts to extended coverage of the on message candidate stumping.

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Video: Deval Patrick - Gloucester Highlights 1 (3:34)

"Check back in..." Nice intro to the remarks and a good bit up front about the Grassroots Campaign strategy and how it's worked so stunningly well for Patrick over the last eighteen months.

Video: Deval Patrick - Gloucester Highlights 2 (3:57)

On politics and Katrina, one of the best discussions of the current state of American political dialog, hint - puke.

[On politics] It's as if how to win is really pre-eminent and principle and vision is for the naive and unsophisticated. And it's causing a lot of really good people to check out. And I'm not just talking about at election time, but civic life itself...

[On Democrats] We have perfected a conversation about how to win, but we don't say too much why we should win. We have candidates doing their level best to blur any differences between us and the opposition as a tactic to win without ever saying what we would do with that power once we do win.
Poor people and sick people are on their own... I think that's the vision of government that was on display in the Gulf Coast after Katrina. We were ashamed by what we saw and we were right to be ashamed. Those people who were abandoned on their rooftops after Katrina were before that storm.

And many have been waiting for the Democratic Party to make up its mind about what we stand for.

So that's why I'm asking people all over the Commonwealth to stand with me and if you do then we will stand for something again.

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Video: Ned Lamont - New Haven (4:22)

Ned's remarks, abbreviated:

I've got to tell you that on Tuesday night it was a pretty good surprise. It was a call for change. People really want to fight for change and that's what we voted for on Tuesday night.

One of the first calls that Joe Lieberman got was from Karl Rove. The first call, the first call, I got was from John Edwards.

[On Universal Health Care] "as a small business guy I can tell you that we have a health care system in this country that is broken... We believe that health care is a basic right for each and every American and we're going to make it happen." Lamont also takes the opportunity to point out that the health care problems facing families also tend to hurt employers and the country's competitiveness in general.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usVideo: Edwards - Patriotism (3:08)

About our dependence on foreign oil:

Do we need to invest in clean alternatives sources of energy? Of course we do... But it is not the truth to tell the country that we are going to solve our dependence on oil just by [innovation].

We need to ask America for a new kind of patriotism, patriotism about something more than war.

We need to say to the country, `It is important for your country for you to be willing to conserve. It is important for your country for you to be willing to sacrifice.' ...

We cannot drive vehicles that get 12 miles to the gallon and think that we're going to solve this problem. It will never happen.

By the way, I do this on my own dime and don't work for any of these campaigns. Using YouTube to broadcast paid for political speech is far different from what I'm talking about here.

How many voters need to have access to this kind of stuff to make this the big story next time around? How many people need to be accessing YouTube political speeches and events to make a dent in the process? Twenty five thousand people? A million? Two million? Ten?

YouTube has the bandwidth, now we can provide content.

Previous Vlogs:

Image Hosted by ImageShack.usAugust 2006: Guerrilla Vlogger: Meet Deval Patrick

August 2006: Guerrilla Vlogger: Lamont and Edwards in New Haven

August 2006: Guerrilla Vlogger: WakeUp Wal-Mart Assignment, Pittsburgh

August 2006: Guerrilla Vlogger: Patriotism for something more than War, Iowa

July 2006: Guerrilla Campaign: Iowa w/YouTube video

Upcoming Vlogs:

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Edwards in Manchester September 4th, NH for AFL-CIO march and rally on Monday September 4th

Deval Patrick & Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) in Worcester, MA September 8th, for a primary kick-off rally. This vlog will also have debate clips from the Thursday September 7th debate at 8:00PM EDT on channels: 5, 2, 7, NECN and live audio streaming is available at WBUR 90.9

Elizabeth Edwards in Boston on her book tour, TBD date, for Saving Graces

... in stores September 19th.

See you out there...


I think YouTube is a great tool

However, they don't stand alone. Most people will want to watch them in context with a written story. That's where the existing blog communities come in. I don't see YouTube overtaking blogs, but it will be a fun tool to enhance blogs. That's just me. Maybe others will spend hours sorting through the vlogs. I have a digital video camera and I have software to edit, but I need to buy the right card for my computer. I need to spend about $100 minimum and since this is a hobby, I doubt I will spend that money any time soon. (stay-at-home mom, no income and all.....)

Click on the hat to see all Citizen Journalist files

Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

This is a tour de force of vlogging

But, once again I am having trouble getting anything to load. For once...

it's not you, it's me.

is accurate.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


The best time to think about what to do differently in the future is the present. The best way to improve performance next time around is to be noticing right now what we'd like to do differently. What barriers are we hitting. What's the best way to use humor? What the best way to express outrage? What's the best way to use video? What's the best way to go viral?


One thing we still don't do is market.

Here I am a vocal interneter with fingerprints all over the damn place, donations under my belt, but I have never received one piece of targeted direct mail from a Democrat. Yet, my wife buys one thing from one kid-targeted magazine, and now we get 10 or 20 of them a month.

The information is out there, Democrats don't use it, Republicans do.

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


It seems like the bloggers, more than anyone else, do a great job of contacting elected officials and such, both through the internet and on the phone. But, I think there are a lot of times where the wrong person is contacted. Like the whole Art Pope thing. Exactly who should we have been yelling at? The blogs do a great job of getting people contact information and facts and unleashing a very quick response that has been very effective, but I wonder whether we are always hitting the right people.

Lyndon Helton for NC Senate

"Keep the Faith"

Exactly who to yell at

Is always a moving target, isn't it? I tend to think of three main groups. The media (including blogs). Public officials (elected and otherwise). And bad actors themselves, of course.

I'm not sure what the most efficient path would have been with Pope. It's a miracle that the SBOE even took the hearing in the first place. They just couldn't avoid the political pressure to take the charges seriously.

But the truth is, they didn't take them seriously. And Larry Leake needs some serious yelling at because of that. Yes, the same Larry Leake who said the board could have dealt with the entire issue in five minutes. I'm working to chronicle his incompetence as the board chair, and it is a trail that's easy to follow. Give me a couple of days.

The question now is what happens next? Will Morgan appeal? He doesn't have the money that Pope has, so people are going to have to step up to help fund an appeal. I've never given a red cent to a Republican, but I'd help Morgan out on this.

What I'd rather do is invite him to see the error of his ways and join the Democratic Party.

go viral

that's the ticket - you'll never look back.

get out there and get guerrilla, I mean honestly I'm not 100% sure that he'll run. If Elizabeth is okay then it's a go, but I'm doing this because it's fun, addictive, mostly free and I just can't take it anymore. can't. no more.

Good post Mbair, you are right!

I think I read that the MSM is becoming less popular and blogs are becoming the place to go to get the real news!

No matter that patriotism is too often the refuge of scoundrels. Dissent, rebellion, and all-around hell-raising remain the true duty of patriots.

the net is in fact the

number one source of the news for people during the day. So we have that at least, but as has been mentioned here in this thread - the media is soooo soooo bad at what they try to do.

Even with Lamont. He's getting a lot of attention, but it's all the wrong kind. Before I went to New Haven I wanted to brush up on some of Ned's policies. All I knew about was the slimy personality politics being played in that primary. I had the worst time trying to find any news articles about policy at all when I searched the web. Story after story, but no substance. Sad...


Sorry for the OT post here mbair, but I was surfing youtube and found the funniest damn thing, from the Emmy's...which I of course did not watch.

Before the U.S. invasion, the CIA said Saddam Hussein had only circumstantial ties with several al Qaeda members. Osama bin Laden rejected the idea of forming an alliance with Hussein and viewed him as an enemy of the jihadist movement because the Ira

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.

fabulous thanks

just a little busy this morning or else I'd participate more in this thread. I post these things all over the place and it's hard to keep track. Thanks BlueNC!

See ya for the next one.

If anybody wants some tape a file transfer can be arranged easily. Let me know what you want. I'll be back eventually...

the italics are my fault

see if this stop them

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.


the add a certain something to the thread. Especially now since you stopped them.

YouTube may do for blogs

What blogs have done for politics. I think the vlogs will reshape the way blogging is done, and how messages from anyone can get out to the masses.

The only thing to stop the evolution of this sort of citizen journalism and politics, is the entrenched establishment. But we all knew that already.

And GREAT Emmy vid :) made my day.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.

Our children need to know that some people fought back, when others collaborated.