Thursday, August 03, 2006

Trusting the Source

A constant theme of this blog has been the "trust" issue. How do you know who and what to trust when you get your information from people online? YouTube is no exception and an article in today's Wall Street Journal points out why.

A video that has appeared on YouTube showing Al Gore brainwashing penguins appears to be just another amusing video, but it may be propaganda from a DC-area PR firm working for big oil. To be fair, it could also be the work of one rogue person who works for the firm and sent an email from his work computer.

Of course, this goes to the issue of transparency. We all want full disclosure of information because, as Adam Curry says: there are no secrets, only information we don't yet know.

The fact is, being outed in the Journal is pretty bad.

I think it's great for companies to use YouTube if they're creating legitimately good content. Walk through any museum and you'll notice how many paintings are of the wealthy or of religious icons. Why? Because those with money have always sponsored the arts. They had paintings commissioned of themselves or of issues they cared about. With a little time and perspective we're able to see what makes them works of art.

In today's America corporations have they money and video is an art. So yes, corporate America SHOULD be sponsoring good art, and they want to get something for their money: a little publicity.

But be above board about it, getting found out through email trails can't be good for business.

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