John Edwards Embraces YouTube, Viral, SMS,

Presidential hopeful John Edwards jumped his own announcement of his plans to campaign in 2008, scheduled for today, by posting a video on YouTube yesterday in which he pre-empts the news.

Edwards’ appeal is for Americans to join his OneCorps campaign, and his call-to-action is to do so either on his Web site or via SMS (text ‘hope’ to 30644). He makes sure to ask viewers to forward his message to friends.

And it seems to be working.The enthusiastic feedback on his YouTube page runs very much toward “you’ve got my vote.”

Where the effort falls short, however, is the campaign’s stubborn insistence to capture e-mail addresses, no matter what. Want more info via SMS? Want to learn more about OneCorps? You’re not going to get it..unless you fork over your deets and get on yet another e-mail list. Even the reply to sending an SMS message is, “Please txt us your email.”

It almost feels like you have to pay.

C’mon, Senator Edwards. You’ve gone this far in embracing new media. Take the final step and don’t throw up barriers to your message, or to your supporters. Embrace other communications channels (To be fair, the URL redirects to, but it’s not loading today, so no word about RSS feed availability).

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