Personal Democracy Plus Our premium content network. LEARN MORE You are not logged in. LOG IN NOW >

If Obama Posts a Côte d'Ivoire Video to YouTube, Does Anyone Hear It?

BY Nancy Scola | Friday, April 1 2011

Last Friday, President Obama delivered the quick two-minute video message above on the struggle for power between Alassane Ouattara and Laurent Gbagbo in Côte d'Ivoire. "Now Côte d'Ivoire is at the crossroad, and two paths lay ahead," said Obama in the clip. It's been viewed 44,000 times on YouTube, and Jake Tapper wants to know, who actually watches something like this?

The White House tracks these things rather closely, I was told. First off, the message was used on television and radio, and the Ambassador reported back that the message had an impact through those more traditional media. In terms of views, the White House says there were 6,476 views in Côte d'Ivoire; 6.592 in France where there’s an Ivory Coast diaspora community, and 14,147 views in the US.

The White House also provided these screen shots showing some of the information they monitor.

(Click through for said screen shots, ones that give a peek at what the White House sees when it opens up YouTube insight to track the sort of traction their videos get.)

Of course, implied by the question is the notion that, well, 44,000 isn't a whole heck of a lot, and that these videos are rather niche, and maybe irredeemably so. Fair enough, maybe.

But one thing to keep in mind here is that all that's being counted is direct views. Not being captured is the ripple effect -- the clip providing fodder for, say, stories like this one by the AFP that uses what Obama has to say as direct quotes, or a Ghanaian website that uses the clip to flesh out a story running under the headline of "President Obama Sends Clear, Unambiguous Message to Cote d'Ivoire."

This isn't Obama TV, not really. There's a way to think about these sorts of things as Obama sort of having a micro press conference (sans questions) on a topic that isn't going to make it to air, or him issuing a colorful talking press release whose message has other channels for ultimately finding its intended audience.

News Briefs

RSS Feed thursday >

First POST: Data-Driven

Get to know Clinton's digital team even better; Ted Cruz election announcement-related fundraising offers peak into the coming data-driven campaign arms race; New York City launches online community engagement pilot program called IdeaScale; and much, much more. GO

wednesday >

First POST: Too Much Information

Will Facebook become the Walmart of News?; Hillary Clinton's digital team; how easy it is to get your hands on 4.6 million license plate scans; and much, much more. GO

tuesday >

First POST: Firsts

Political reporters use Yik Yak to pep up stories about Ted Cruz's campaign announcement; The New York Times, Buzzfeed and National Geographic may agree to let Facebook host their news on its servers; Google fiber users to soon get targeted television ads; and much, much more. GO

monday >

First POST: Cowed

TedCruz.com for president; Meerkat fever; who does Facebook work for (probably not you); Medium, "the billionaire's typewriter"; and much, much more. GO

friday >

First POST: Checking

US pressures Germany to not offer asylum to Snowden; study shows the extent to which political advertising overshadows political news coverage; new site gives a minute-by-minute breakdown of most popular US gov't websites; Upworthy co-founder apologizes for breaking the Internet; and much, much, more. GO

More