screenshot from Nina Bachke's videoThere are a number of politicians on YouTube. Arbeiderpartiet (Labour) probably has the most thorough approach, with a dedicated channel for their people that they started back in April, though it’s still mostly just plain talking heads in small boxes saying hi, I’m NN, vote for me. Nina Bachke, who’s running for Mayor in Oslo in this September’s local elections, has a video that’s a little better than most, though certainly still embracing the amateur aesthetics. She situates herself as one of today’s parents by talking about when she grew up (with still photos of prominent people cut in), talks about how much has changed since then, and what sort of things are important for our children (cut to shots of her talking with kids in some parade). Finally the prime minister recommends her. OK, that’s not astounding, but it’d probably do the trick.

But.

Embedding is disabled by the user’s request. Comments are switched off. Ratings are switched off.

Do these people not want people to watch their videos? What on earth was the thinking behind stopping people from reposting the video – here in my blog, for instance, or in the Facebook groups dedicated to Nina Bachke. She apparently has no profile on Facebook herself yet, though she has a blog, of sorts, set up by Arbeiderpartiet.

But the un-embeddable, comment-disabled YouTube video is the top hit on the Google for the woman that the Labour party wants to be the Mayor of Oslo. Oh dear.

6 thoughts on “if you want your video to spread, for goodness sakes let people spread it!

  1. Pil&Bue

    Smells like the usual debate between PR developers and the careful customer, in this case AP. They are afraid to lose control over their own PR information tool. Sad, really, since they then lose the ability to properly use the tool. I guess the developers were quite frustrated…

  2. Jill Walker Rettberg

    Quite likely, though having browsed more of Arbeiderpartiets YouTube videos, I admit that most of them are embeddable, though a silly number have comments turned off.

  3. Hans P Fosseng

    It seems like the Norwegian Labour Party (Arbeiderpartiet) doesn’t quite understand a key element of the social web: sharing. Media consumers in general – and web users in particular – go more and more for a pull aproach. Not information push, like Bachke and her colleagues still seem to prefer.

  4. […] Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister John Howard only has 8 friends (and Peter Costello, oddly enough, isn’t one of them!).  While the generation gap is clearly one factor, I strongly suspect that Howard’s camp simply aren’t checking friend requests (and thus Howard will probably never have more than 8 friends!).  This is similar to what Jill mentions about politics in Norway, in that candidates are using online networks like MySpace or YouTube with having teams literate in how these websites actually work.  (Another argument for the importance of digital literacies right there!) […]

  5. Michael Clarke

    Representative of the inevitable debate my own organization will have when we turn our blogs on – to allow comment or not to allow. Why is it so hard to make marketing/PR people understand that it’s better to keep the conversations in the open than have them going on where they can’t see them – and better to have conversations full-stop than none at all!

  6. […] What did happen in the 2007 local elections was that political parties started using YouTube. Arbeiderpartiet and many other parties published short, boring talking-head videos of every candidate. Most of these have about 36 views – and they don’t invite viral spreading. Apart from being extremely boring, they have comments and embedding disabled. I only found one campaigner who actually used YouTube’s features of answering other politicians’ videos in new videos (actually that was disabled so he fudged it), and he was ignored by the politician he answered. […]

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