Video in the French election

Seeing what our own premier is making of online video, I thought I’d glance at what les candidats en France were up to. And blimey – Nicolas Sarkozy really digs the 2.0 thing.

His campaign slogan – ‘together everything becomes possible’ – is, of course, tailor-made for the whole collaborative online thing, but even so, it’s quite startling to see him embrace it quite so fervently. Streaming Flash video all over his homepage, in a collection of structured ‘channels’. Prominent RSS buttons for new videos and new news items. A Digg-style ‘debat-sarkozy‘ microsite, built using French blogging platform dotclear, where he (or his team) will answer the most popular question of the day.

Over on the left, if you can find its unguessable URL ( – Segolene Royal does a much more conventional web treatment. The bit they’re probably most proud of is the Flash-based ‘piliers’ (‘pillars’) manifesto, with her ‘seven pledges’ leading to some surprisingly long, rather heavyweight video clips. There’s plenty of video throughout the site (maybe too much), but it lacks the Sarkozy site’s sense of structure.

The one element that’s missing? YouTube. Sego is streaming her stuff from French equivalent; Sarko’s looks like it’s a home-brew affair. Search YouTube for either candidate by name, and you’ll find plenty of material – most of it stuff they’d probably rather you didn’t see.

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