The Pope is on Youtube!

We have seen how governments and corporations are using new media such as Youtube to reach out to the masses and spread their messages.

Now, the Pope and the Vatican has also gone the way of new media and have launched their very own Vatican Youtube channel, in order to woo the Youtube generation.

According to the Vatican spokesperson, the channel “aims to help establish relationships with Catholics from around the world” by broadcasting short video news clips on the Pope’s activities and events at the Vatican”.

Now, people from all over the world who cannot make the trip to the Vatican can view images of the Vatican as well as the many speeches made by the Pope.

The Vatican Youtube Channel also connects you to the other sites such as Vatican radio that would link you to more Vatican news.

Interestingly, some of the videos talk about new media as a new way of communications to speak of God and a way to go beyond borders to reach the masses.

With this, let’s hope that the message of hope, love and peace will find a greater audience in the world.

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Obama’s ‘fireside chats’ take the high (tech) road in cyberspace

A couple of posts ago, I blogged about Obama’s clever use of new media and how that’s helped him to win the recent US Presidential elections. In fact, he’s come to be known as the Youtube President!

Not surprisingly then, that Obama has chosen to stay on the Youtube course and use it to broadcast his weekly address to the American public (actually, he now has the potential to address an international audience as well). 

Obama is giving what is known as the traditional weekly radio broadcast by US Presidents, a tradition started by Roosevelt, a modern-day twist. Back then, and since then, the ‘fireside chats’ of the various Presidents have been broadcast on radio. Now, with new media, Obama has found an added channel to reach out to the public, especially the younger set that forms the Youtube and Facebook generation.

What’s also interesting is that by going direct to Youtube, the Obama administration has greater control over what is broadcast. According to the Straits Times article on Obama’s online chats, Obama and his people could “would curb the power of a traditional but often unpopular middleman between presidents and the populace: the mainstream media”. This means that the public get a dose of Obama unadulterated and unmediated (as much as non-mediation via media is allowed). Doing this would also make Obama’s government “more transparent“.

Obama’s first Youtube address after he won the elections is available on his website: www.change.gov. Subsequent addresses can also be viewed there.

In fact, this website has proved to be a source of information on Obama and the directions he’s taking as the President-elect.

And with Youtube videos being so embed-able, his address would be seen by so many more, due to the viral nature of ‘marketing’ on new media.

Now, I’ve mentioned previously as well that our local political groups could also learn something from the Obama campaign and its use of new media. Just yesterday, there was news that PAP is aiming to click with the young by letting the IT-savvy watch short videos of PAP MPs at events on its revamped PAP website.

Party chairman Lim Boon Heng said, “New media is facilitating change. Our party is gearing up our resources to harness this new platform.” In fact, on the Young PAP website, there are articles on new media and its social impact

Now, while it’s good and timely for our local political parties to incorporate the use of new media, I believe more must be done than just posting videos of MPs at events. More could be done to harness the power of new media to reach out to the public and allow for the age of participation and a new generation of digital natives. Perhaps the digital natives out there would like to share how better engagement could be achieved via new media.

Obama and New Media

Obama has won the US Presidential elections, and will be stepping into the White House and Oval Office come January.

Many have seen his success at the elections last week to be very much tied up with his strong presence online, especially with the use of new media. Many have discussed Obama’s Youtube and Facebook win, and how he’s used new media to reach out to the masses, especially the younger voters, and made an emotional connection with them (via technology!). In a post I made months back, his win was already on the cards, given Obama’s Facebook domination!

Many see the Internet as a great equaliser, as anyone can use it, and most of its apps are virtually free (pun intended), and in Obama’s case, it has been an equaliser in his fight for votes.

From being a relative unknown, he’s now catapulted to being one of the most powerful men (if not, potentially, the most powerful man) in the world! For many, that signifies the American dream. That also signifies democracy. Beyond that, that also signifies the power of new media. 

And for the many who were not allowed to vote (apparently, many non-Americans wanted to!), they could get into the action online as well. There were many online polls that allowed participation by all (isn’t that just what Web 2.0 is about – the Age of Participation)! Even WordPress had its own virtual poll. So did Facebook and other online sites! Even my Fluff pet on Facebook could take part in the polls, and be voted for!

Not surprising, Obama won in those polls too, and the online poll figures do closely match the actual results. So, in a way, we can see the online world as a microcosm of the real world.

Youtube education: Chi Running

I remember hearing the comment made by some people, that everything they needed to know, they could learn it on TV. Now, those were the days before the Internet.

Now, the same can be said of the Internet! In fact, I do believe you can learn even more from the Internet, and some have also conducted experiments to show that you can live soley via the Internet without even having to step out of your house, what with online shopping, social networks and all! Looks like the Internet can answer your social, entertainment and even physical needs.

We all know that the Internet is one of the most favourite places to go to for research (it used to be the library, no?) and one wonders what days are like BG (before – Google). I should know – I have been through those dark days prior to the advent of the Internet, and yet, those days seem like light years ago!

Anyway, the point I want to make is that it’s now so easy to find information on the Web. And now with videos like on Youtube, you not just get to read about something, you get to watch it too. Recently, I’ve started trying to find out more about Chi running, which is touted as a new style of running that makes you go faster, longer without the hurt (which is SO important!) And very importantly too, it’s been said to be of great help to people who don’t run and who have just started running (ie, people like ME!).

Well, I read parts of the book, but for something like running, you have to try it, you know what I mean? And just following the book isn’t the same thing. I wanted to see some action, and to know what are the right moves to make, and you know what, I realised that that there’s a whole list of videos in Youtube with people showing you how to do Chi running! Of course, it would be best to participate in a class and have a coach tell you how you are doing, (but we don’t have that here in Singapore currently), the next best thing is to watch chi running in action, and the Youtube videos are great for that. At least, now, I have a better idea of the posture to adopt when doing chi running.

A thing to note though is the need to sieve through the info online and check for accuracy. And just as you would cross-reference texts, both print and online ones, you would also want to do some triangulation of sorts with the videos, and make sure that you are getting videos of ‘legit’ and ‘credible’ sources, and what they are all saying about the same thing should be the same!

Here are some useful videos I came across on Chi running. Do suggest more if you know of any. Now, I just have to stop watching the videos and get my butt off the couch and go running!

Danny Dreyer – Chi Running

Chris Griffin teaches ChiRunning

Chi Running, Learn the basic ChiRunning posture

Clever Youtube marketing: Ghost sighting at Raffles Place

Interestingly, new media news made it to mainstream news. Last night’s news on Channel 5 featured a video on Youtube that has been getting many viewers lately.

Ghost sighting at Raffles Place   has been getting very popular with Youtube viewers. This and a series of other ‘ghost sightings’ sparked talk about whether ghosts had been spotted at Raffles Place.

Actually, the series is part of an advertising campaign by the GMP group to promote work-life balance and remind workers not to stay too late at the office! ‘No one should work late’, they say.

But of course, that’s not their only message. The group is using the series of videos to promote their job-matching services, which they reveal when they tell the truth behind the Raffles Place ghost  .

Many in PR and advertising have talked about how the marketing mix should consist of both traditional and new media, and GMP has just shown how new media such as free Youtube services can be used to good effect.