Every year, there are big news stories that everyone is talking about. 2008 was no
different. But now, we have a new way to learn about the big news of the day. People
turn to YouTube to find out what everyone else is watching. It's easy to watch a short
video on the big news items on demand. Plus, YouTube is interactive. If you have something
to say, just comment on the video!
Among the big stories of 2008, I picked five for this article. I'll make a brief comment
on each story and then include a YouTube video on the topic. This is similar to the
format I use on the popular YouTubeStars blog,
where I talk about interesting YouTube video makers and their videos. Please visit YouTubeStars.com to
learn about popular YouTubers and discover new and lesser known videomakers as well!
The biggest thing that happened in 2008 was the election of Barack Obama as President
of the United States. There were endless news reports about the election and it took
some interesting twists and turns. Obama came from behind to become the Democratic
candidate, passing frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Part of the reason for his success
was his grass roots appeal. Obama used every avenue available to get out his message
of Change, including his popular BarackObamadotcom YouTube channel. Here's a video
from that channel of President-Elect Obama making his first speech on November 4th,
Election Day, in Chicago.
President-Elect Barack Obama in Chicago
One of the surprises of the 2008 election season was the announcement by John McCain
of Sarah Palin as his running mate. At first, Palin caused a huge buzz and general
praise. But after repeating the same phrases over and over at every campaign stop,
and a series of poor showings on TV interviews, she became a polarizing figure. You
either loved her or hated her! In either case, she did become a popular personality
and Saturday Night Live was able to garner huge ratings by parodying her. Tina Fey
looks a lot like Sarah to begin with. But after getting in character, she was a dead
ringer for the Vice Presidential candidate! Here is a funny video of Tina Fey portraying
Sarah Palin along with Amy Poehler imitating Hillary Clinton.
Sarah Palin, Tina Fey on SNL
Harry Potter is old news! The new hot property in the world of young adult literature
is the Twilight series of books by Stephenie Meyer. The four book set tells the story
of 17-year-old Bella Swan as she moves to dreary Forks Washington and meets a mysterious
yet fascinating young man at her new school. Edward Cullen and the other members of
his reclusive family are stunningly attractive and Bella is confused at first when
Edward takes notice of her. As the first book, Twilight, progresses, we learn that
the Cullens are a family of vampires! Now, the first of 4 books has been made into
a hugely popular movie that was released on November 21 to legions of fans. Here is
the movie's trailer. YouTube has many fans of the book/movie and one excellent group
is TeamTwilighter. Visit their
YouTube Channel and website!
Twilight Trailer (final) from Summit Entertainment!
Actor Heath Ledger died on January 22 2008 from an accidental prescription drug overdose.
Ledger turned in a remarkable performance in BrokeBack Mountain last year (he was
nominated for the 2005 Academy Award for Best Actor) and starred as the Joker in the
blockbuster second movie in the most recent Batman series, The Dark Knight. Heath
was was nominated for two People's Choice Awards and the Golden Globe Award for Best
Supporting Actor for his performance as the Joker in The Dark Knight Here's a video
about Ledger's performance in The Dark Knight.
THE DARK KNIGHT - OSCAR FOR JOKER?
Swimmer Michael Phelps made history at this past summer's Beijing Olympics by winning
an unprecidented 8 Gold Medals. That brought his career Gold Medal count to 14. Phelps
gained instant fame from his Olymic performance and was named by Barbara Walters as
one of then 10 Most Fascinating People of 2008. He earns millions a year from endorsements
and plans to use some of his money to create the Michael Phelps Foundation, a charity
foundation to promote water safety and to advocate swimming for children. Here's a
video report on Phelps from Associated Press.
Olympics '08: Michael Phelps Wins 8th Gold
Kenny Crane has been writing about YouTube
videomakers and their videos at YouTubeStars.com since
June 2006. He also publishes the YouTube
Top 100 Weekly Chart of the Most Popular YouTube videomakers.