Putting ‘YouTube’ in a Post Title Increases Traffic I’m Told. So: YouTube


If there’s anyone not yet convinced of the power of YouTube, the following video should do the trick. As regular readers will notice, I’ve been regularly posting clips from YouTube onto the blog- and no, not Colbert Report or Daily Show clips other blogs are so fond of posting just to get hits. There’s simply a vast array of media out there- both spin and non-spin- that deserves our attention these days. Indeed, the 2008 Presidential election will be influenced by more non-traditional media outlets than by any in our history.

The following clip, apparently created by an anonymous Barack Obama supporter, is a copy of a 1984 Apple ad, conjuring up images presented by Orwell’s 1984:

Of course, there’s no basis at all in comparing Clinton to Big Brother, but public opinion works in weird ways. A simple- albeit very well edited- video such as this one taps into that odd nature we have of responding more to visual signals than to text or more mundane approaches.

Do I condone this? If you read my earlier Free Speech and the Media (yep, shameless plug), you would know I’d much sooner watch something like this:

10 Responses to “Putting ‘YouTube’ in a Post Title Increases Traffic I’m Told. So: YouTube”

  1. Okay, okay since I put in a video portraying a candidate in a positive light, feel free to link me to any other video(s) portraying other candidate(s) in positive light(s), so we can even things out. Heh.

  2. I saw this earlier today, and am doing similar although mine are a bit fluffy.

    I can’t get the darned little bubble to show up but some can. I wonder why.

  3. Haha, well, I just type in straight into the visual post editor, and it works. But I have heard of it not working for many people… so I guess I’m just lucky? Heh.

  4. 4 Ben

    I am deeply suspicious of this ad.

    The soundbites seem to be completely wrong for the ad. I realize there is a certain irony in the original, which juxtaposes “we shall prevail” with the throwing of the hammer. But in the original, the voice has an obviously evil quality to it. These soundbites are Hillary’s explicit attempt to come across as a regular person, having a “conversation” with each of us individually, whereas the original ad speaks of “one people, one will, one resolve, one cause,” and “a garden of pure ideology where each worker may bloom, secure from the pests of any contradictory thoughts.” Meanwhile, the Hillary soundbite says “I don’t want people who agree with me.” Also, the image of big brother is dark, and blends in with the dark wall in the original commercial, while the imagine of Clinton is bright white, an aberration in the monolithic room

    If I had to guess at the source of this video, I would bet it came from the Clinton campaign. Imagine seeing it without any knowledge of the original. Most people probably don’t remember the original all that well. Here is an alternative interpretation of the Clinton video: Clinton is trying to awaken people who have become used to politics as a competitive sport, or partisan war, rather than a discussion, an exchange of ideas, about how to make everyone better off. Hillary says that it’s “really good” that “so far, we haven’t stopped talking.” However, some evil forces don’t want you to keep talking. Right before the hammer is thrown, the text on the screen over Hillary reads, “this is our conversation.” The next time we see the screen, a smiling Hillary again says she “hopes to keep this conversation going,” just before the sledge hammer smashes into the screen. In the original ad, following the initial explosion as the sledgehammer crashes into the screen, we hear a light, cool breeze, suggesting freedom. This sound appears to have been slowed down in the Clinton video, lowering the pitch and suggesting the cold wind of emptiness and despair. By this point we are really wondering who would be so evil as to want to end “our conversation.” We then see a bright white screen which says, “On January 14th, the Democratic primary will begin. And you’ll see why 2008 won’t be like ‘1984.’” Note that 1984 has a significance in presidential politics quite apart from Orwell’s book. 1984 was the year Walter Mondale, running as an unabashed liberal, lost every state in the nation except Minnesota. The white screen, associated with Clinton, promises a different outcome in 2008, until it is covered over by a pitch black screen bearing Barack Obama’s web address. It must be he who wishes to end the conversation.

  5. Ben, you raise a really, really good point and one that I hadn’t even remotely considered (nice analysis of the breeze and good you brought up Mondale whom I totally forgot). Now that I watch it again with what you mention in mind, the differences do begin to stand out. It may very well be Clinton’s people who put this out, but still… can they really expect the common person who has just slight knowledge of Big Brother, the original ad, etc. to pick up on the (relatively) subtle differences in tone and lighting?

    Just an open-ended question, feel free to respond. Once again, I really like your take on this.

  6. 6 Ben

    I don’t think they really intended for people to consciously make the connections and notice the changes, as much as they just wanted to decrease Obama’s “likability.” The changes themselves are more interesting in that they suggest more thought was put into this than one might at first imagine.

  7. This explains why my 1984 parody video has suddenly become more popular… same video, different point…


  8. Btw, I wonder does playing the Youtube whore really pump up your traffic? My guess has always been that it only helps if you’re also posting content with substance at the same time.

  9. Good to know. I have found that using a porn star name in a post helps bring traffic as well. I actually had a relevant article about Tyra Banks and porn star Sahsa Grey, and I picked up a flood of hits.

  10. Heh, hydralisk. Looking at the traffic on the day of this post, I say it pumps up traffic no matter what.

    R. Dodds, how’d you make a relevant article? That sounds interesting.

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