Thursday, October 02, 2008

Propositioned on YouTube

In "YouTube videos debate Proposition 8," the Los Angeles Times describes a phenomenon that I might consider to be surprisingly late in coming. As I pointed out in August here, the marriage equality movement (and its opponents) did surprisingly little to capitalize on distributed media channels, particularly online videos and blogs despite expressing a desire for more "conversation" about the issue. I'm not sure how persuasive their examples are, especially given their relatively low numbers of views (in the very low five figures). For example, "The Hidden Agenda of GARRIAGE" is little more than a montage of photos and low-tech motion graphics from a YouTube video creator who elsewhere complains in the rhetorical position of outraged parent about the lack of barriers to accessing pornographic material by the young. Although the LoveHonorCherish YouTube channel has a large number of well-produced vlog-style pro-marriage equality videos, it seems as though most of them have garnered relatively low numbers of views. Even "Jewish Mother," which has over a hundred text comments, has earned relatively few individual viewers, based on its stats. The Equality Campaign channel also seems to have attracted relatively few viewers, despite its star-studded appeals.

Strangely, one of the anti-gay videos covered by the Times claims to be a class project. I hope that the YouTube essays produced by my students in my digital rhetoric class this year will be more sophisticated -- and well-scripted -- than this student's offering.

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