Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Viral Internet

The 'Today' programme has been trying a little experiment in internet video influence, by producing a light little video and seeing how long it takes for it to 'go viral' - i.e. start being seen all round the world, and by large numbers of ordinary, humble net surfers. They needn't have bothered. The Dan Hannan attack on Gordon Brown in the European Parliament the other day appears to have done the trick far more effectively.

Hannan gave a short (3 minutes) but effective and sustained demolition of Brown in reply to Brown's speech to the European Parliament. His speech went unreported by all of the mainstream media; certainly no showing on any broadcast news outlet. As with all of his speeches, Hannan posted it to youtube. It was picked up by a number of widely read Conservative bloggers (Iain Dale, Guido Fawkes etc). By yesterday, it had become the most watched video on youtube and Hannan was being invited onto Fox News in America to comment. So without any mainstream media promotion, Daniel Hannan nonetheless becomes an icon of Conservative opposition to Brown, and his speech widely seen. Now that's viral. And that's how the internet is breaking the monopoly of what used to be a privileged caste of political reporters. It is also an indication of how well organised the right are in their use of the internet in the UK.

Hannan's own comment on all of this is here.

2 comments:

Comrade Major said...

And yet not a single reference to this speech on the whole of the BBC...

GM said...

They have caught up - the Radio 4 PM programme did a piece yesterday, and Channel 4 News as well. Actually, on C4 Hannan himself said he wasn't surprised that the speech wasn't picked up by the mainstream media as his view was that (a) the European Parliament is not a significant body and (b) he was saying nothing new in his speech. He actually gave a very good performance on C4 News, in contrast to Labour blogger Derek Draper, who was awful.