John Howard on climate change on YouTube23 July, 2007
|By Graham Young|
John Howard seems to at last be getting the hang of new technology. Last election he was spamming voters, with the assistance and advice of son Tim. This election he is mixing it with all the coolest of us on YouTube.
One of the things with a YouTube video is that you can't pick how you will appear. So the Howard video shares the same page (at least when I accessed it this morning) with "John Howard asleep on climate change", the ALP attack ad on his record; "Climate Change, a video from ALP front-bencher Lindsay Tanner; "Re: Prime Minister John Howard, climate change announcement", a response from someone styling themselves planetnerd.
Some interesting statistics. The PM's video has been viewed 14,103 times, compared to the ALP's at 1,399 views, Lindsay Tanner's at 253 and planetnerd's at 216; demonstrating perhaps the benefits of incumbency, or the value of heavy cross-promotion in other media.
Actually, when you scroll down a bit further you find "Clarke and Dawe on climate change" with 3,436 views, so perhaps number of views is linked to the comedic ingredient of your video?
There are also some interesting comments on the bottom of Howard's video, indicating that YouTube is not necessarily friendly space to him, or friendly at all - some of the commenters demonstrate the need for an Internet protocol for soap so their mouths can be washed out! YouTube should look to install some sort of filter to stop this sort of nonsense getting through. And one commenter has the hide to complain that comments have been removed!
It's surprising that the Liberal Party has taken so long to catch onto YouTube. Some years ago they created a minor furore by producing video press releases which they sent out to regional television stations to save them the time and trouble of taking their own footage. I always thought it was a brilliant idea. YouTube is just an extension of that where you don't need to put a postage stamp on the release - someone else will forward it on for you.