On Saturday, Hillary Clinton became the latest democrat to use an Internet video to announce their presidential intentions. There are a couple interesting points about her video. One is how well timed to “news rhythms” it was. By releasing on a Saturday morning, her camp effectively ensured it would just make Sunday newspapers, many of which go to press early that afternoon. The net result there was that the video was the first thing discussed both in papers and on the Sunday news programs (trumping the Obama video released earlier in the week).

Another things to note is the cinematic quality of the video — by that I mean how it employs the tools and conventions of movie making. Where the Obama video was a stationary, single take, the Clinton video features at least three cuts and the camera is constantly moving (arguably to the point of distraction).

The Clinton camp also choose to host the video themselves, at HillaryClinton.com. Unlike the Edwards and Obama videos, Internet users cannot aggregate the Clinton video through embedded links. Instead, Clinton’s team’s choice to provide a high resolution Quicktime version of the video for download seems a bit of a strange choice.

The benefit to her competitor’s distribution choices was that they allowed anyone to publish their videos through the use of the <embed> tag. There was no need to worry about the overhead of asking everyone to host a 55 mb or assuming that most bloggers have the technical skill to place that file on their website. More importantly, with the aggregation model, everyone is referring back to a single, master video. Which means that if Edwards or Obama chose to update the content, those changes would immediately be reflected across all sites.

The result of Clinton’s distribution choice can be seen in two ways on YouTube. First, The Hillary Clinton For President Committee, a grassroots organization supporting Clinton’s run, encouraged people to link their blogs to a YouTube video of CNN’s replay of Clinton’s video instead of the original artifact. The second is that people are already mashing-up the original high def source video the Clinton camp provided to make anti-Hillary videos.

On a side note, I think my favorite YouTube Obama v. Clinton video is this one. It’s simple and goofy — a person called up both of the candidate’s websites and played the videos against each other.


Bernius, M. (2007) a tale of two candidate???s video distribution strategies