Friday, July 06, 2007

Watching YouTube to Avoid Spreadsheet Duty

One thing I've learned quickly as an intern is that if you don't have anything to do, you will get the job no one wants. On Tuesday that meant I was given photocopied pages of the Illinois Bar Association directory. I was given Tucker to Zimmerman and told to make a spreadsheet of all the attorneys' first name, last name, e-mail, law firm, address, etc.


So I quickly decided I needed to do something to ensure the rest of my week didn't look the same. I don't mind calling people, asking for cash, but we aren't calling anyone this week because people are touchy about being harassed for $2300 during their vacation time. I had to do something, these mind numbing spreadsheets were sucking the life out of me.

I wrote the research department, who I met at the debate last week, with an idea. Maybe I could watch the YouTube videos for the upcoming debate on July 23rd and write down what people are asking.

They wrote back that I had the gig. Go watch all 473 (and counting) 30-second videos and write down the questions. They requested I do that in a spreadsheet. Ugh! More spreadsheets. At least it would be interesting. And it certainly has been. For 30 seconds at a time, my confidence in the American voter is restored.

Here's one sample:

But then I get to one of the crazies. One guy wants candidates to save if they believe Jesus is telling them to invade another country or suspend the Constitution. Another guy wants Congressional hearings on aliens. And I'm only 123 videos in.

However, the majority of the questions are good ones. You should check'em out for a taste of what Americans are worried about.

What do you think of this as a format for a debate? Do you like it? Do you hate it? Do you think it is just a gimmick? If you could record a video and upload it, what question would you ask? (ewb in SD - I must hear yours!)

On an interesting side note: YouTube appears to be censoring submissions because some of the videos have been removed. Going by the titles, I'd say that 2/3 of the ones I saw removed were attacks on Hillary Clinton. Does my party still think she is electable in a national general election?