Friday, October 19, 2007

10 Questions: Media Big and Small Backs Digg-style "Ask the Candidates" Video Project

10q.jpgAfter the YouTube/CNN US Presidential candidates debates received huge attention and the Yahoo! Candidate Mashup saw near record numbers of visitors to its site, you might wonder - what more could be done with online video around the upcoming election?

10 Questions is an honestly innovative project that combines user voting with the open-ended time format that online video can offer far better than TV. It's backed by a list of 40 media heavyweights, from the New York Times and MSNBC to Talking Points Memo to Michelle Malkin and TechRepublican. The project was put together by the folks at TechPresident and David Colarusso of Community Counts. Community Counts was a site put up in response to the YouTube/CNN debate, focused on viewer voting. If the media sponsors push this subsequent project through their channels - 10 Questions is probably going to be very big.

Details and video after the fold.

Here's how it works: users upload questions on either YouTube, MySpace, Yahoo, or and tag the videos "10Questions." The 10 Questions crew will grab those videos and put them up on the site for viewers to vote on. After four weeks of voting, ending November 14th, the 10 questions with the most votes will be sent to all the candidates.

The candidates will then have 4 weeks to record their answers. There will be no time limit on their answers, which really is significant. The leading candidates will, unfortunately, probably record the shortest replies possible. Long shot candidates will offer interesting, detailed replies. Maybe, just maybe, this format could break that pattern.

Their answers will be posted to 10 Questions, and presumably many sponsor sites, where viewers will be able to vote on whether they think the questions were answered to their satisfaction. This part will undoubtedly become a popularity contest and Ron Paul will likely be the winner (he's got nothing to lose by answering in greatest detail!) but it's still got some potential to be really interesting.

While other online video question events like this did offer some interesting questions to the candidates - this one is going to be fundamentally different. The unique format combined with the incredible backing make 10 Questions an effort worth watching.

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