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Postcards and laundromat visits: The Texas Tribune audience team experiments with IRL distribution
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Nov. 3, 2008, 5:56 p.m.

Wrapping up two years in…14 minutes?

Is it really over? As the longest presidential campaign in American history comes to an end, the news media is looking back with a mix of whimsy and nostalgia. One popular mode of reflection this year is the campaign-summary video, cramming the whole thing, from Ayers to Z, into a matter of minutes. The form was pioneered in 2007 by YouTubers summarizing previous seasons of “The Sopranos” and “Lost,” and Slate successfully adopted the idea for the Democratic primary earlier this year. After the jump, the latest such offerings from the NYT, Huffington Post, and Slate — plus, who’s earning money from these videos.

The New York Times is out today with a wonderful video, narrated by political reporter Kit Seelye, that captures the campaign from its earliest days in Iowa. The Times is promoting the video on its homepage, where their new widescreen format really shines, but the standalone version includes an innovative set of scrolling links to additional content as it’s referenced in the film. However, at nearly 14-minutes-long, the video is not for short attention spans, says the media blog Jossip. The Times is also eschewing its usual pre-roll ads before the video, which is a curious choice. Can you imagine how much they could charge for a thirty-second spot at the top of the Times homepage?

The shortest and sweetest offering comes from The Huffington Post’s humor site, 23/6, which crams all the action since the primaries into 1 minute, 39 seconds. They’re not running a pre-roll, and the YouTube version won’t generate any revenue, either, but there are ads alongside the video on their own site.

And the aforementioned Slate has a somewhat staid recap of the action since the last debate in a slender 2 minutes, 23 seconds. You can view previous Slate “Power Recaps” here. They run an occasionally irritating but certainly monetizing ad before videos on their own site but not when they’re embedded elsewhere. Sorry, Slate!

The Economist has a good review of how the electoral college map has changed since the summer. Somehow, it all seems much more exciting in a British accent. They’ve got a pre-roll ad, too.

POSTED     Nov. 3, 2008, 5:56 p.m.
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