Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

YouTube Nabs a Sit-Down With Barack Obama

Yet another tie-up between Google and the White House: A one-on-one interview between Barack Obama and YouTube.

Google’s (GOOG) video site says it has collected 11,000 questions from its viewers and will ask a small fraction of them during a live sit-down with the president at 1:45 Eastern. No word on who’s actually going to deliver the queries to POTUS, but YouTube insists that “neither the President nor his staff will know which questions will be asked ahead of time.”

The YouTube part aside, there’s not a ton of novelty here: Asking citizens to send in questions for a political Q&A isn’t a new idea. The fact that the Q&A will be streamed live is more interesting to me, since it signals the site’s increasing interest in real-time events (see, for instance, U2).

Today’s Q&A did prompt me to scan YouTube for something apposite, but disappointingly, clips from Bill Clinton’s MTV “choose or lose” appearance are hard to find. And I can’t find any version of Tabitha Soren’s famous “boxers or briefs” query. Did turn this one up, though:


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work