I don't own a television. More than five years ago, we sold our TV when moving from across the country and then, as now, I didn't see the point in putting money into buying a new one primarily because there was never anything on. Of course there are moments when we wish we had one. Every summer we wish we could watch the Tour de France. Jon wishes he could watch the Super Bowl at home. And I miss Jeopardy.
With election season upon us, I have been thinking about getting a TV. Over the weekend, we were away for a night at a hotel that had a television and we enjoyed a two hour replay of the California Democratic Debates. While most Americans complain about the saturation of ads and election coverage, it is very exciting and engaging for us when we catch snippets of it. And of course, for the Sheck, fascinating from a technology point of view.
This was especially true yesterday, Super Tuesday. Before I go any further here, let me say openly that I am supporting Barack Obama. And admittedly, I have been relatively impressed by his use of 2.0 technology in the campaign. This article in the Times mentions how many young people flock to his Facebook group. The Facebook page I belong to has 4,185 members and there are other sites to choose from.
And of course there is the use of YouTube. Without a TV, I watched most the debates on YouTube and am grateful for the opportunity. The venerable Elaine Young also got me into candidates' stump speeches on YouTube. Kudos to Hillary, on that front. But there is also the people's use of it, not just the candidates. For example, if I search "Obama" in YouTube, I get 74,400 hits! CRAZY! AWESOME! WOW! ObamaGirl is all over the place and I love the enthusiasm but the more than a million views of the Yes We Can video is what really takes hold of my heart, both for the content (I do indeed believe!) but also for the use of YouTube to mark social change:
While this is not really grassroots in that it is famous people with other famous people, it is still an aggressive use of 2.0 to find people where they are and with what they want to share a message.
But let's also think about the establishment for a minute. While I manned the ref desk late last night, I was kept in the loop by blogs at the New York Times. There is something exciting about major news outlets tauting the value and prominence of blogs to contribute to "all the news that's fit to print".
So, where does that leave the Sheck in her deliberations on television. As this post as made clear to me: what do I need one for? I've got 2.0.