Want to tell millions of people which lever you intend to pull on November 4th during the U.S. presidential election? YouTube has launched a channel called Video Your Vote intended to “shed light on voting in America and show democracy in action through the eyes of voters like you.” I said in June that this year would be the YouTube election. It appears that the folks at YouTube think so as well.
Not only will the online world see you pledge your political allegiance, but some uploads - perhaps your own - will be featured by PBS amid its Election Day coverage. Whether it is to share your own perspective of events leading up to the final hours of the campaign, or document issues occurring in your district, YouTube is seeking submissions. The company highlights the tags “videoyourvote” and “pollproblem” as unique to the channel’s mission.
Previously, YouTube presented an election destination dubbed YouChoose ’08, where the candidates’ content is presented to viewers, along with debate coverage and various endorsements made by musicians and the like.
Now the video service has established a place reserved for user input and an ombudsman-like view of the process. In addition to user submissions, features involving election experts, reports about this election and elections in years past will be shown.
Given the sheer volume of content available on YouTube about the 2008 campaign, it may behoove the company to mold a comprehensive venue for all things to do with the race. From candidates’ speeches and advertisements to news briefs to popular citizen endorsements, doing so simply by extending the YouChoose concept outward. But YouTube has made clear that the Video Your Vote project is a partnership with PBS, so it seems some exclusivity of purpose is called for.
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