The YouTube Presidency

We’re about to wit­ness the begin­ning of the YouTube Pres­i­den­cy, as The Wash­ing­ton Post has dubbed it. When Barack Oba­ma takes office in late Jan­u­ary, he plans to give a new twist to a long­stand­ing tra­di­tion. The week­ly pres­i­den­tial radio address will now “air” on YouTube, mean­ing that you’ll be able to access the pres­i­den­t’s mes­sages in video, when­ev­er you want, on one of Amer­i­ca’s most traf­ficked web sites. The upshot? Some­one may actu­al­ly lis­ten to these week­ly mes­sages.

This move is part of Oba­ma’s effort to use tech­nol­o­gy to com­mu­ni­cate more direct­ly with the Amer­i­can pub­lic. It’s a way of bring­ing FDR’s fire­side chats into the 21st cen­tu­ry. In addi­tion to har­ness­ing the pow­er of Web 2.0, you can expect to find a lap­top on his Oval Office desk, a first for any pres­i­dent. And, if Oba­ma has his way, he might get to hang on to his Black­ber­ry as well. (See this piece in the NY Times.)

In the mean­time, here’s first of the YouTube videos that Oba­ma has launched dur­ing the tran­si­tion. Watch it below:

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  • Anonymous says:

    I hope some­one in the admin­is­tra­tion thinks about the fact that a lot of schools block YouTube.

    Also air­ing these on School Tube and or Teacher Tube would ben­e­fit many students/social stud­ies teach­ers.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.