May 20, 2011 •
“An online platform for members of Congress to debate and discuss the most important issues of the day.”
Most of us have become accustomed to offering our preferences and opinions on social networks. We have the “like” button on Facebook for the updates our friends share – pictures, news, and videos. On YouTube, you can mark a video as a favorite. You can share it, flag it, add it to a playlist, and leave your comments on it.
This week, YouTube launched YouTube Town Hall, a place where you can watch videos created by members of Congress. They are speaking on topics such as the budget, energy policy, education, health care, the economy, and the war in Afghanistan.
Like everywhere else in social media, you can weigh in your opinion “supporting” a video’s message by clicking the support button. You can also share videos with your friends. YouTube’s Town Hall page opens with the motto: “Watch the debates. Choose your side.”
The videos can be viewed in debate mode, with two videos (offering opposing messages) sitting side-by-side, or by what YouTube calls the “Leaderboard,” which ranks the videos from the ones getting top support down to the least supported.
You can even ask questions on policy. If enough people give your question a “thumbs up,” it may become one of the top-rated and selected each month to be answered by a member of Congress!
I am keenly interested to see whether this will catch on. Is this the town hall of the future? Could it reshape the way we conduct campaign debates? Let’s see!
Have a good weekend.
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