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Rating Obama's First Weekly YouTube Address

BY Micah L. Sifry | Sunday, November 16 2008

There have been a number of good critiques of President-elect Obama's one-way use of YouTube to broadcast his weekly radio address (see especially my colleague Ellen Miller and John Dickerson's takes) and so I'm not going to repeat them here. By posting the address on YouTube--even without comments or ratings allowed--Obama is allowing us to see something that we couldn't see before when presidential addresses were just on radio: who cares to listen and who cares to link.

I was impressed to see that as of this morning, the YouTube of his three-minute talk already has 500,000 views. We're going to start keeping track of these numbers, because they're one more way of getting a rough and ready sense of how well the President is doing with his public.

As you can see from this TubeMogul chart, there was a lot more interest in Obama's radio address than in the other transition announcement videos has posted so far.

Technorati shows nearly 300 blogs linking directly to the YouTube address, another interesting indicator of interest what Obama had to say. Top blogs including Mashable, The New York Times Caucus, Think Progress, the Washington Post's 44 transition blog, Matthew Yglesias, MyDD, Americablog,, and Jack and Jill Politics all linked to it.

Ironically, there seemed to be more attention to the process than the content of Obama's address, which emphasized the economy and promised a) a top priority push to extend unemployment insurance for one million Americans and b) a $150 billion stimulus program to create five million new green energy jobs.