YouTube Adds Political Section, CitizenTube to Come

So, YouTube has a new channel for political candidates, basically a hub for all the official YouTube groups set up by official campaigns. Only the bigger names from the two big parties are represented so far in the section, which falls under the “YouChoose ’08” banner. In YouTube’s simple category list, the section can be located not by that title, but by clicking the “Politicians” link. I’m surprised they didn’t use slightly more appealing terms like “Candidates,” “Political Campaigns,” or “Presidential Campaigns,” but I guess Politicians works as a good catchall for elected officials and those running for office.

Still, I wonder if the site plans on having another section for political advocacy groups.

Missing from the Dems is Chris Dodd and from the Republican side, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo and Mike Huckabee. I didn’t check all of them, but from what I can tell, Dodd has a YouTube group. Perhaps it’s not an official group or the campaign wants to create a more election-specific group before linking from the section homepage.

Of course, because these are the official campaign groups, you’re not likely to see any of the less-flattering videos that have propelled YouTube to its status as an online political force. For instance, Joe Biden’s own videos and those in his favorites list conveniently leave out the countless user-uploaded clips of Biden calling Barack Obama the first presidential candidate who is “mainstream, African-American who is articulate and bright and clean….”

What caught my eye here is it looks like PayAttention.org, an Ad Council campaign originally launched in July 2006, the only advertiser in the section. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a tongue-in-cheek voter registration effort featuring phony candidates like “Someone’s Teddy Bear” and “Bag of Leaves.”

According to TechPresident, the site plans to launch a “CitizenTube” section for CGM videos pertaining to the ’08 election. I guess it’s about time there was a special section for all that stuff since it’s so disorganized now. Still, though I see the relevance of a handful of videos watched by millions, I can’t help but wonder how many people are actually going to sit there and watch all the videos these campaigns upload.

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