The Mayor of YouTube
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, known as something of a policy wonk, did away with his hour-long State of the City address, typically delivered to...
San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, known as something of a policy wonk, did away with his hour-long State of the City address, typically delivered to an auditorium of city supervisors, department heads, journalists and political junkies, this year in favor of a 7 1/2-hour address on YouTube. Hoping to reach a wider audience and delve deeper into topics, Newsom posted his State of the City speech in 10 chapters, or "Webisodes," on both the city's Web site and his YouTube channel. Each Webisode is about 45 minutes long, and covers subjects that include health, education, the environment, transportation and poverty. The channel, modeled on one used by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, lets Newsom post videos at will, and allows anybody to post videos in response. The YouTube channel is part of a larger strategy to use technology to cultivate an ongoing conversation with constituents. In addition to YouTube, the mayor also has a Facebook page -- with more than 10,000 "friends" -- and his Web site received 27.6 million hits this year, up from just 3.8 million in 2006.
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