The First ‘Batonable’ Election

‘Batonable’ is how of the Black Eyed Peas (and probably more famously of the Obama ‘Yes We Can’ video) summed up the power of the Internet and new media on the US presidential election. Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post, who sponsored the panel exploring new media’s role in this elections, explains:

He dubbed the way information is passed along in the new media “batonable”: someone puts out a piece of content; the person who sees it then picks up the baton and runs with it, then passes the baton on to their friends, who then pass the baton on to their friends. In that way, the information is disseminated in its original, unadulterated form — as opposed to the traditional media process where those passing it along often do it through their own filters.

YouTube in particular has had huge effect. It’s almost hard to believe, as Huffington notes, that YouTube didn’t even exist until February 2005.

Ethan Zuckerman has a good post from a couple months back on some of the user generated campaign videos. And you can watch a conversation on Berkman’s own YouTube channel with Jesse Dylan, the producer of the Obama video.

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