James Kotecki – Video Blogger, The Politico

Posted on 05. Oct, 2007 by in Politics

Your work in networked/citizen/collaborative journalism.

I started in January 2007 making YouTube videos in my Georgetown dorm room with a $60 webcam and an aging Dell laptop. I rose to quasi-prominence by critiquing how the 2008 Presidential candidates were using YouTube. After getting a lot of mainstream coverage for this, I’ve since graduated, interviewed seven Presidential candidates, and covered the CNN/YouTube Democratic Debate and the Iowa Straw Poll. As of this week, I’ve been officially hired by Politico.com to video blog for them full-time. I’m very excited, because now I finally have a full-time job doing what I love – making goofy videos about politics and putting them online.

What are your goals?

My immediate goals are to create compelling and funny video content for Politico.com . My long-term goals are to increase my standing as a combination of an online political journalist, commentator, and entertainer – in other words, a political video blogger.

Notable achievements?

I conducted the first-ever dorm room interview with a Presidential candidate when Ron Paul dropped by my Georgetown single in April. Since then, I’ve interviewed six more Presidential candidates, including John Edwards.

The Economist has called me “probably the world’s foremost expert on YouTube videos posted by Presidential candidates.”

I managed to turn my dorm room video blogging hobby into a full-time job.

Lesson you’ve learned (including mistakes you’ve made)

On the internet, no matter what you say or how nicely you say it, some people are going to hate what you say, and hate you for saying it. As my popularity grew online, this was a difficult fact for me to adjust to. Now that I am relatively adjusted, it makes things easier – and more fun.

Are you getting revenue for this? How?

Yes. Since I’ve been hired by Politico.com, I now finally have a way to make a sustainable living doing what I love.

What’s next? What do you need to get to the next level?

I need for million and millions of people to watch and love what I do at http://politico.com/playbook , and to keep coming back for more day after day. That will put me in the best possible position when my contract with Politico is up.

Anyone you’d like to talk with, learn from, or work with at the summit:

• Jeff Howe – I love Wired magazine
• Arianna Huffington – who wouldn’t want to meet her?
• Overall, I’ll be interested to talk to pretty much everybody on the list.

3 Responses to “James Kotecki – Video Blogger, The Politico”

  1. chris lawton

    05. Oct, 2007

    James. Thank You & Congrats! You got to ball rolling for Ron Paul and for that we will forever be grateful! Keep up the GREAT work and follow your dreams!

    “No people will tamely surrender their Liberties, nor can any be easily subdued, when knowledge is diffused and Virtue is preserved. On the Contrary, when People are universally ignorant, and debauched in their Manners, they will sink under their own weight without the Aid of foreign Invaders.”
    — Samuel Adams (letter to James Warren, 4 November 1775)
    Reference: Our Sacred Honor, Bennett (261)


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