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Congress and YouTube

An interesting development for government information specialists is the use of video sharing sites by government agencies (U.S. Military’s “Multi-National Force” on YouTube) and by politicians. Technology Daily has a story, which says that by the end of the year, according to according to Karina Newton, the director of new media for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, “most members of Congress will be using video-sharing sites like YouTube in some way.”

While morning floor speeches often are delivered to a largely empty chamber, the excerpts already have been seen 100,000 times.

Is this just a channel for delivering content that we already have in our libraries in the form of The Congressional Record and other documents? or is the particular aggregation of content on a particular site of interest to librarians to point to today and to save for the future?

One thing we do know is that the folks maintaining these sites have a different view of “long-term” access than librarians do. “Jeff Weingarten, president of Interface Media Group, noted that unlike with television, the video ‘lives on forever.'” Of course, his perspective of “forever” is in contrast to the life of a political ad on TV, not the perspective of maintaining this information past the current election cycle.

Interestingly, some Republicans think that YouTube is too liberal and have set up an alternative called QubeTV.tv, “dedicated to bringing your conservative take on politics and culture to the Internet.”

Republican White House veterans Charlie Gerow and Jeff Lord have created a new conservative video Web site called QubeTV, which they describe as an alternative to YouTube, a popular clearinghouse for sharing video files.

…Both Mr. Gerow and Mr. Lord, who served as aides during the Reagan administration, say QubeTV is necessary because of what they view as an anti-conservative bias by the administrators of YouTube.

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