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Summary:

Though I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tuned in this afternoon, I found the inaugural YouTube-CNN Democratic presidential candidate debate really engaging. The candidates’ answers were a mix of informative and blustery politicking, but the 39 YouTube-submitted questions elicited much more personal and, at […]

Though I wasn’t sure what to expect when I tuned in this afternoon, I found the inaugural YouTube-CNN Democratic presidential candidate debate really engaging. The candidates’ answers were a mix of informative and blustery politicking, but the 39 YouTube-submitted questions elicited much more personal and, at times, light-hearted responses than the usual fare.

Though YouTube’s ubiquity isn’t always a good thing, it’s great that they had enough clout to get this done — and I hope it’s a lasting tradition. Though the novelty may wear off, perhaps the terrible video-of-a-projected-video camerawork will improve. Another take is embedded below, and more can be found here.

Some questions I had high hopes for fell flat — barely anyone actually answered “say something you like and something you dislike about the candidate to your left” — while others drew out varied and interesting responses — the differences between answers to “would you work for the minimum wage?” were telling. And hearing questions about healthcare from a woman fighting breast cancer, and about gay marriage from two women who asked if they might marry each other, made political abstraction look all the more silly.

The program also included a sprinkling of campaign-produced “YouTube-style” (which doesn’t mean anything, but whatever) videos from the candidates, and it was particularly interesting to see the debaters placed on the same level as their interoggators, mostly looking self-satisfied when the CNN camera cut to them watching their own ads. An attack ad seems just a little bit more accountable when the seven people you’re attacking are standing on the same stage as you while it plays.

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  1. The debate sucked. Really, really sucked Monday, July 23, 2007

    It was definitely entertaining, but some may have noticed that there was only one question asking a candidate to defend their actual policies. The rest were simply opportunities to speechify.

    If you’d like to send CNN a message and suggest they choose better questions next time, watch the 1 second video at the link. With enough views it might shame Youtube into doing a better job.

  2. GigaOM SezWho, YouTube Debate, Green GE & Tips from Tim « Monday, July 23, 2007

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  3. mattkirsch82 Tuesday, July 24, 2007

    yeah i was surprised how good this debate was- I agree the camera work was pretty bad- but I think the youtube-ness of the whole evening forced candidates to be a little more honest, since if their audience was savvy enough to submit videos on youtube, they’re prob less likely to buy into certain talking points, can’t wait for the republicans though..

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