Thursday, July 5, 2007

YouTube for me, EUTube for you

posted by Andy Leff
It's no secret that YouTube has rapidly become a leading form of advertising for businesses and publicity for public figures. Now, it's adding government information sharing to that list, thanks to the EU.

The European Commission just launched its own YouTube channel to make its audiovisual content more available to the global public. The clever moniker: EUTube.

EUTube's video content ranges from documentaries about EU activities and history, to interviews with European commissioners. Hot button issues such as climate change, energy, and immigration are also covered and available on the channel.

Interestingly, the green for the scheme is coming from citizens' tax dollars, which has generated a flurry of mixed reactions. Publicly published comments vary from "Great initiative," to "This site shows very well how European Commission spends stupidly our money. Before to through (sic) out away our money, you should ask us first our autorization (sic). We work hard to make this money and it's a very bad idea to waste it on useless politics."

Hmm. Do 'useless politics' include environmental protection, working for a smoke-free Europe, and expanding diversity? If so, then color me surprised. I see nothing but good in this technological advancement, which gives European citizens immediate access to pertinent information.

In fact, the U.S. should learn from the EU's info outreach, and start making reliable, accurate, and comprehensive resources available online in digestible AV formats. The technology is ready, the world is shrinking, and the audience is thirsty -- the perfect storm for any Web-savvy nation.

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