If you log on to YouTube.com and type in the name Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama or anyone else campaigning for the 2008 presidential election, you will find video clips galore. Gayle talks with Nicholas Thompson, senior editor of Wired magazine, about the role YouTube is playing in politics.
The Internet has changed the way we communicate, and Nicholas says YouTube has changed the way we seek information. "It is right there at everybody's fingertips. You can look, you can see, you can watch, you can e-mail it to a friend and talk about it. There is this great network of stuff you can communicate about," Nicholas says.
Video of politicians has become very common on YouTube, including old footage of candidates and messages from the politicians themselves, as well as news stories and negative messages or ads. Nicholas says you can expect to see more clips of politicians as the 2008 presidential campaigning heats up. "There will be slip ups and gaffes, Barack Obama will say something silly and it will be put on YouTube," Nicholas says. "There have been some ads attacking Hillary Clinton that have had a large effect on her campaign." While the majority of politician video clips on YouTube tend to be negative, Nicholas expects that trend to change. "My hope is as the campaign continues, a lot more positive stuff will trickle up," he says. "You will have candidate messages and people speaking about the candidates."
Nicholas says quickly watching something is very different from hearing or reading something quickly. "We are a society that communicates visually," Nicholas says. "I think the presidential campaign will be one of the biggest topics of conversation for the next two years, I think [YouTube] will play a big role."