Ask the Candidates Your Question

05/25/2011 12:05 pm ET
  • Jeff Jarvis Author, 'Public Parts' and 'What Would Google Do?'

The video above is my invitation/plea to any and all of you to record a question for a presidential candidate, post it on YouTube, and tag it PREZCONFERENCE. Then we'll challenge the candidates to answer our questions directly and post their answers on YouTube. You want the campaign as conversation? That's conversation.

This way, we can see which questions the candidates answer, and which questions they ignore.

Hillary Clinton asked for questions in the first week of her campaign but we didn't see which ones she didn't answer. John McCain, believe it or not, solicited YouTubed questions on his site, but at last check, I couldn't find a single taker. (Just so he wouldn't feel so lonely on YouTube, I recorded a few of my own.)

In the UK, Conservative leader David Cameron is soliciting questions and answering five of them a week on video and by name -- three voted up, Digglike, by the citizens. (Here's a column I wrote about this for The Guardian.) In France, conservative candidate Nicolas Sarkozy is doing likewise.

Well, we should be using the YouTube campaign not just to get campaign messages but to get answers.

It's easy to record a video on YouTube. You can even use your webcam to record directly up to YouTube using its quick capture feature; no editing or other geeky bother needed. Once you upload it, make sure to tag it PREZCONFERENCE so we can all see the questions and so we can draw them to the candidates' attention.

I've been following the campaign through the eyes of YouTube on a new vlog/blog called PrezVid. And we're already getting some questions for candidates that I've been posting there. A sampling. . . .

This one on global warming:

This one against the Department of Education:

This one on internet policy and net neutrality, recorded at the Video on the Net conference:

One on health care and more:

We need more questions -- and more answers.