Coco has returned! Conan O’brien launched his new show on TBS with a cold open documenting his journey from Tonight Show host to lowly basic cable. The clip includes a Godfather-style shoot up, Don Draper throwing Conan out of his office and Larry King as his Clarence-like guardian angle in.
I’m happy to have Conan back, and on TBS where he can be funny again instead of pandering to the Leno audience that is obsessed with weird news headlines and safe humor, but I fear this means less online brilliance. Coco won me over with the best Twitter bio I’ve seen, “I had a show. Then I had different show, now I have a Twitter account.” Moreover, he wisely embraced his fans enthusiasm and co-opted their talents for his comeback tour. This is best evidenced by the way O’Brien and his staff embraced Mike Mitchell’s poster design as well as the “I’m with Coco” language that Conan used to brand his tour. Conan even claimed TeamCoco.com as his official online presence.
Note to campaigning organizations: an iconic image has immense viral power. A picture’s worth a thousand (try million) petition signatures. Follow the example of Conan and the Obama campaign: let your supporters create the campaign, then mold it into your communications. In other words, be a movement.
Go, Coco, Go!
The bipartisan health care summit is in its final hour and I suggest using one of the pages listed below to catch a glimpse if you haven’t already. Obama is certainly in his element leading a frank and policy-heavy discussion on the thorny issue. My British friends used to joke about how bad Bush would have looked if he ever had to take part in something like Prime Minister’s Questions. Well, today I’m trying to imagine him sitting in Obama’s chair and pulling something like this off so smoothly. My favorite moment was more procedural as Obama adjourned the meeting so House members could take part in a vote, “The bus is waiting outside to take you over, guys.” It was as if he was running the small group breakout session at some conference. Community organizer, indeed. For those not lucky enough to be in this “small group,” the web offered several channels to participate…well, watch and moan at least.
The link led to a live video on YouTube’s Citizen Tube channel. Viewers can watch the summit live and participate by asking questions thanks to a Google Moderator embed included on the page. Moderator is a simple tool that gives viewers the chance to submit questions and vote on which questions they would like answered. Moderator is free to use and anyone can create a “Series” and allow questions. Moderators can choose if questions must be from logged in users (using a google account), or anonymous participation will be allowed.
The use of Moderator is part of Google/YouTube’s continued efforts to release tools they’ve used to power contests, debates, and live chats (though we still wait for live video). Moderator came last year along with the release of YouTube Direct, which gives website owners the ability to have videos uploaded to YouTube through their own site. YT Direct means that a nonprofit could host a video contest on their own site, and generally use YouTube as a back end to host their videos while keeping users on their own site. It’s a smart move by Google since it is in their interest to collect as much data about users as possible — something that is far more valuable to the search and ad giant than having users ON their sites. Tools like Moderator and YT Direct help bring new tools to nonprofits and other web operators, but also give Google more data to work with.
Viewers on the White House site can click through to Facebook (as seen in screenshot above) to take part in the discussion on that platform via the White House Live Facebook App.
We can’t forget the actual live video websites who wouldn’t be left out of the Obama video fun. Ustream.TV hosts a White House channel, which they featured on the front page. Ustream runs a clever system called, “Social Stream,” which lets users login via Twitter, Facebook, aim, or even MySpace (MySpace? I guess for Tom?).
LiveStream.com also featured the summit, but through The Uptake’s channel. LiveStream supplements their built in chat with options for Facebook or Twitter linked chat. However, it doesn’t integrate as cleanly as Social Stream since each chat client runs in a separate tab.
The good news is, you can chuck your TV and still get all the political blow by blows and tons of other content thanks to the growth of live streaming video. The better news is each system is continually growing and integrating smarter chat and questioning features that let you or users speak up. The bad news? As evidenced by the health care summit where none of the questions from viewers were actually asked on the floor, our ability to talk will always come up against those in power’s desire to listen. At least they are running out of excuses thanks to new technology.
Still searching for that perfect holiday gift for the woman in your life? Gold might be evil, sure a diamond may be forever, but a pap smear is her best friend.
If being memorable is the key to advertising, than Matthew Margo knows his business. As the Senior Vice President of Program Practices, East Coast at CBS, Margo is the driving force behind their recent CBS Cares Pap Smear Campaign. He heads the department that approves and rejects advertising on the network, and produces CBS Cares campaigns — the networks pro-social arm. He details how the idea came to him in one of those oh-so-frequent Overheard in New York moments.
I was waiting for my appetizer when I overheard two women diners talking about pap smears. The one in her 40′s said she hated pap smears. The one in her 30′s enthusiastically agreed. And they both said they do whatever they can to postpone them.
Part of their conversation was masked by the loud conversation of other diners. From what I could gather, the problem was that the gynecologist’s instrument is refrigerated. I thought I heard the words, “Really cold spatula!” But I later learned that the gynecologist’s instrument is actually called a “speculum” (meaning I’d either misheard the word spatula… or simultaneously picked up part of a conversation taking place in Il Mulino’s kitchen).
In any case, I shuddered at the thought of a cold instrument being used for such a medical screening and hardly noticed as the waiter shaved large chunks of parmesan cheese onto my side plate.
As the appetizer arrived (lightly fried calamari drizzled with a really great spicy marinara sauce), I was asking myself the question, “Should CBS Cares do a project on pap smears? Why had we not seen public service campaigns on the subject?”
(via CBS Cares)
Jon Stewart welcomed Jewish author and activist Anna Baltzer along with Fatah Party member and former Palestinian presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouti on Wednesday. Perhaps not surprisingly, he also welcomed scores of angry phone calls, E-mails, comments, and the first heckler in the Daily Show’s 11-year run.
The strong reactions shows the importance of organizations utilizing their supporters to bolster their media appearances. We’ve seen how a little media noise can be represented as mass opposition throughout the health-care debate. It’s important for NGOs to have strong and consistent links between their on-air and online media operations that backstop and reinforce messages from CEOs, celebrity ambassadors and other key figures. A battle may be won or lost in an instant on TV, but the larger war of framing the debate is happening constantly online.
So what happened…?
As the Jewish Telegraph Agency reports:
During the interview, Stewart asked Barghouti and Baltzer, who recently wrote a book based on her experience as a human rights activist in the West Bank, various questions pertaining to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“Palestinians have been subjected to the longest occupation in modern history, and a system of segregation which is totally unjust,” Barghouti said.
“Liar!” a heckler shouted in the crowd in response.
“Apparently we have Joe Wilson with us tonight,” Stewart said, using his famous wit to defuse the situation.
You can watch the 2-part full interview below. I was watching on Hulu and was surprised by the blatant edit just after the heckler shouted. While, The Daily Show did make it clear the full interview was online via a text overlay, the cut made it seem like they were trying to cover up an awkward or embarrassing moment for the show. Perhaps, it was a brilliant tactic to drive more online hits, but an open letter from Baltzer, urging people to call and write the show in support of the interview, suggests a nervous staff who may have found the topic too inflammatory for their TV viewers. (more…)