Last updated: July 18, 2008 - 8:27am
At the polls, the Democratic primary was a squeaker. Online, however, it wasn't close: Barack Obama dominated the discourse and steamrolled Hillary Clinton in every relevant metric, including the number of people watching Obama-related video online. Indeed, one of the more impressive achievements of Obama's organization is the way it churns out video after video--more than 1,165 posted and 14.8 million views on YouTube alone. Much of that is the work of Obama's director of field video production, 32-year-old Arun Chaudhary. Obama's biggest advantage, Chaudhary said, was that his organization took video seriously from the start. The campaign has 50 staffers shooting, editing and posting video, most of it for online. Where Clinton would have just one staffer videotaping an event in Iowa, Obama often had five to provide multiple camera angles. They posted new video constantly, and quickly -- 19 minutes from shoot to post, in one case. And they'd ping community voters via email to alert them to new video. Chaudhary's theory on all this: The technology was available to do all of this, at this scale, four years ago. But it has taken this long for mainstream America to get comfortable with online video. Now that they are, Chaudhary says Obama speaks of continuing to use the medium if elected: He pictures online fireside chats, and posting video of internal debates on topics like healthcare.
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