Response #2

3 Feb

To Vlog or Not to Vlog? Podcast or No Cast?

While I’m sure many of you out there are comfortable writing and posting to a blog, taping and posting a vlog or podcast is a different story. Knowing that my thoughts are out there for all the world to see is one thing, but to put a face/voice to my thoughts – that’s another thing all together. Not to mention, who would be interested in me? It’s bad enough thinking about who wants to read my blog, but who wants to see my face talking about what I think? Campbell Brown I am not. However, when I think about what vlogging and podcasting has done for advocacy campaigns, presidential politics, gossip sites and others, the power of the internet – and the first amendment is undeniable.

Take President Barack Obama for example, his campaign website offered blogs, podcasts, vlogs, Facebook  links, Twitter updates, and many other digital media. While not everything has transitioned to the White House, his blog and vlog have – albeit in a scaled down, alert security for each comment kind of way- but he has tried to transition technology with him. Fans (or not) can log on to www.whitehouse.govand view his speeches, read about his daily policy battles and even sign up to get updates from the administration. None of that was possible before President Barack Obama. Not to mention his highly controversial Blackberry and much coveted email address.

While President Obama’s campaign is a great example of using cutting edge social media tools, other campaigns have not been as lucky. HCAN, and it’s Health Care for America Now! website has tried to utilize tools, creating a blog, podcasts, vlogs, etc. but their site is so incredibly busy it’s hard to read the pages, let alone navigate to a specific blog, or podcast. HCAN has however, embraced other social media with great success – it’s Facebook pages, Flickr and YouTube sites are heavily populated and well read. It’s not a perfect social media campaign, but they are trying.

BTW – if you haven’t seen this HCAN website you need to check it out. It is by far one of the funniest, tongue in cheek, yet serious information sites out there. Also check out their ad insurance company rules for some big laughs.  It’s too bad HCAN doesn’t use its insurance company rules website as the basis for their campaign, it’s laid out better, offers more of a targeted message, and it’s hilarious. Always a bonus when you’re discussing serious issues where everyone has a story to tell.

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