UN 2.0

Just read about the World Food Program (WFP) utilizing YouTube to create viral campaign about global hunger issue. Sounds as an interesting and innovative approach on behalf of UN. At the same time, you can still see the struggle between UN 1.0 that has the need to control the process entirely, and UN 2.0 that is trying to use new media and its distributed nature. As I understand this, unlike other initiatives (such as the presidential debates for example), in this case you are submitting the videos to WFP, they choose the top 5 from their perspective, and only then the finalists are released to YouTube for everybody to watch and judge.

I understand the need of UN to make sure that nothing inappropriate is going under their name and the need to promote certain messages/values within this context. However, If my understanding of the process is correct, i think this approach is taking away from the same viral strength of hosting such competition on YouTube. By applying the top-down monitoring of the process and taking away the ability to participate in judgment of the videos from the very beginning, I think the organizers will seriously limit people’s investment in the project and thus its potential impact. Of course those who will create the videos will stay tuned, but i would assume that they are a minority of YouTube users. Most people watch and not create. So taking them out at the very beginning may prove itself counterproductive. But we will have to wait and see. In any case it seems like an interesting step on behalf of UN.

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