Thursday, January 21, 2010

Year One Review: The U.S. Government on YouTube

It's been one year since the U.S. government came to YouTube with the launch of the official White House YouTube channel and President Obama's inaugural address. Soon after, we launched our Senate and House Hubs with the U.S. Congress, and then we brought the entire federal government to the site on On the heels of a presidential election in which YouTube became a key tool for most political campaigns, politicians took their lessons from 2008 and started applying them to governing. The results were interesting and, at times, quite surprising.

Here are some of the highlights, statistics, and milestones of year one of the U.S. government on YouTube:

The White House:

  • The White House ended it's first year on YouTube with 21 million video views and close to 100,000 subscribers.
  • President Obama's first YouTube Weekly Address brought FDR's fireside chats into the 21st Century.
  • The White House's July health care townhall, brought in 300 citizen-submitted video questions for the President to answer in a live townhall.
  • Some of the most talked-about videos from the President focused on international diplomacy, including his Nowruz message directed Iranian citizens and government, his speech to the Muslim world in Cairo, his video addressing Turkish Parliament, and his Ramadan and Diwali holiday greetings.

The U.S. Congress

  • A total of 430 Members of Congress have started YouTube channels to inform and engage with their constituents.
  • Capitol Hill caught up with YouTube trends, learning the power of the viral hit, the mash-up, and even cat videos.
  • Though the Democrats captured the majority of the seats in Congress, 89% of Republicans have channels, compared to just 74% of Democrats. In yesterday's big win for the GOP in Massachusetts, Scott Brown's campaign had an undoubtedly superior YouTube channel to his opponent Martha Coakley.
  • Eight of the top 10 most-viewed and most-subscribed YouTube channels in Congress are from the GOP.
  • The House seems to be using YouTube more effectively than the Senate - only one Senator makes the list of most-viewed and most-subscribed channels.

Top 10 most-subscribed YouTube channels (in order):

  • Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL)
  • Representative Ron Paul (R-TX)
  • Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Representative John Boehner (R-OH)
  • Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA)
  • Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI)
  • Representative Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
  • Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA)
  • Senator Jim DeMint (R-SC)
  • Representative Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI)

Top 10 most-viewed

  • Representative Mike Rogers (R-MI)
  • Representative Alan Grayson (D-FL)
  • Representative Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
  • Representative Randy Forbes (R-VA)
  • Representative Eric Cantor (R-VA)
  • Representative John Boehner (R-OH)
  • Representative Tom Price (R-GA)
  • Representative Don Manzullo (R-IL)
  • Representative Don Young (R-AL)
  • Representative Ron Paul (R-TX)

The Federal Government

  • Over 150 federal agencies have started YouTube channels since our agreement went into place on May 22.
  • The State Department continues to use YouTube in innovative ways, such as the Democracy Video Challenge, the Alliance of Youth Movements, and videos like this one from Secretary Clinton about 21st Secretary Statecraft.
  • In summer 2009, HHS launched an H1N1 Flu PSA contest on YouTube - the first-ever effort by the government to get citizens to create PSAs. The winning video as voted by the YouTube community was from a doctor whose H1N1 rap made him an Internet celebrity for a few months.
  • The IRS Channel on YouTube features dozens of videos informing people about new credits and deductions and other changes in the tax law.
  • NASA's Astronauts used YouTube and Twitter to take questions from space, the Library of Congress started uploading it's archives (check out this video of a sneeze from 1894), and the CDC uploaded emergency preparedness clips.

- Steve Grove, Head of News and Politics


Anonymous said...

What is the government going to do with all the money they receive back from Tarp.
When is the government going to give college students free money for school, at least make it so we can write it off.
When are we going to end welfare?
At least make it, so they have to work for the money, and food stamps.

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