Obama's Most-Viewed Video as President? It's a Table-Slapper
By Garance Franke-Ruta
The Internet loves a spectacle. The latest proof of that comes in an analysis by TechPresident.com's Micah Sifry, which finds one notable exception to a "dramatic decline in views of videos on Obama's YouTube channel" since he became president.
What is this exception? Sifry describes it as Obama's "most unscripted moment in the White House."
He's talking, of course, of the president's "swatting of a large fly during a CNBC interview three months ago. ... Versions of the clip have amassed more than 4 million views. And for good reason: it's funny, and it reveals a side of Obama -- a natty Ninja flyswatter -- that people can both laugh at and identify with."
It also helps that the fly incident has been remixed with a Ninja-movie style voiceover by Barely Political -- the same team that brought the viral Web hit "I Got a Crush on Obama" video -- and has been posted on YouTube by multiple users. It's even been reimagined in a cartoon from the perspective of the fly.
The rest of the traffic to Obama's YouTube channel is primarily coming to view older videos, rather than the "newer material his team has been posting to engage the public in current issues," says Sifry.
He concludes, "The internet is a great place for certain kinds of political content, and not for others. Scripted speeches and planned soundbites don't get forwarded around very much online."
September 21, 2009; 4:51 PM ET
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