Jan 13, 2009

You Tube and dot gov Video Good? Bad?

The New York Times reported
On Monday, YouTube, in collaboration with Congress, will unveil two new Web pages, one for the House and one for the Senate, where every lawmaker will be able to create a video channel on the site. The pages will include a map of the United States that will allow users to easily navigate to the channel of their elected officials.

Already several members of Congress have channels on YouTube. But by creating a central hub for all senators and representatives, YouTube is hoping to encourage more members to create their own channels, not only as a place to promote their agendas but also as a forum for interacting with citizens. --More from NYTimes
Read Write Web thinks that YouTube is getting preferential treatment,

YouTube is not a public service but a commercial enterprise. Google might, one day, decided to just shut it down, and take its archive with it. One might argue that this is unlikely, but it could happen. A stronger argument against favoring YouTube, however, is that it does look like preferential treatment of a service that is already close to being a monopoly. Given that services like TubeMogul make it incredibly easy to post videos to a large variety of online video services, there is really no excuse for government officials to only post videos to YouTube except for being ignorant about the alternatives. --Read more on Read Write Web.

One suggestion is to have the videos on dot-gov sites (too?). This is an evolving area, but there is an emerging best practice to make sure that YouTube and other non-government sites are not the sole source for dotgov video.

It's also critical, though, that government engage within the social media ecosystem and not create a "government ghetto" that is outside of where the eyes are. Wherever they are.

[HT to Bev for the RWW link]

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