Obama's Transition On YouTube For All To See

According to the Washington Post, President-elect Barack Obama's campaign team uploaded more than 1,800 videos to YouTube, which were viewed over 110 million times. And apparently, even though Obama has already won the election, he will continue to use YouTube as a primary means of connecting with the American People. This coming weekend's Democratic Radio Address will be delivered by President-elect Obama and will also be filmed and then uploaded to YouTube. The Washington Post claims that the weekly Democratic Radio Address has never been recorded and "broadcast" on video before.

This will not be a one-off event either. The weekly Democratic Radio Addresses will all be videotaped and uploaded to YouTube moving forward. (While YouTube will technically be hosting the videos, the videos will be officially presented on Change.gov, presumably the Democratic Party Website, and possibly the official White House site once Obama takes office.) The new administration will not stop with just weekly videos either. "Senior members of the transition team" told the Washington Post:

"The Obama White House will also conduct online Q&As and video interviews. The goal, officials say, is to put a face on government. In the following weeks, for example, senior members of the transition team, various policy experts and choices for the Cabinet, among others, will record videos for Change.gov."

In a YouTube interview Obama held last year at Google, Obama stated: "We're going to have sort of twenty-first century fireside chats where I am speaking directly to the American people through video streams, because it allows me to interact directly in a way that I think will enhance democracy and strengthen our government." And in a YouTube video posted just yesterday on Change.gov (see above), transition co-chair Valerie Jarrett explained the philosophy behind the videos: "We are very interested in making sure that this transition is transparent; that we are giving information just in time to those of you who are logging on to our Change.gov Website so that you know what's going on just as decisions are being made."

Timeliness and transparency are very lofty goals, and using streaming video on the Internet is certainly one way to help achieve them. It will be interesting to see, however, once the transition is completed and the First 100 Days have passed, whether the Obama administration will be able to maintain the same levels of timeliness and transparency it is aspiring to so early out of the gate.