New meme: Tag five friends to register to vote

Okay, I’ll help on this. A Google blog post and the corresponding video ask people to register to vote (find out how at ) and/or send this video to five of their friends. I’m game for that, mainly because Jonah Hill is the funniest man in the world and he says to do it. If Jonah ever starts lifecasting, that would end my productivity for life.

So here’s the video:

And I’m registered to vote, so I’m tagging five people to spread the video:

1. Gabe Rivera, of Techmeme fame.
2. Danny Sullivan, of Search Engine Land fame, because he just came back to the United States.
3. Lisa Barone, of Lisa Barone fame. She just moved across the country and might need to register.
4. Shoemoney, because he knows how to get a good ruckus going online.
5. Robert Scoble, because he might be even more virally contagious than Shoemoney.

Vote however you want. But please register now and vote next month.

33 Responses to New meme: Tag five friends to register to vote (Leave a comment)

  1. That’s an influential 5. Stating who they are voting for and why would really cause a ruckus. 🙂

  2. Clever video. I’m sending it out to 5 as well.

  3. I’m in – getting my 5 together now.

  4. Awesome post! Register to vote before it’s too late. And remember: if you don’t like Obama or McCain, there are third-party and independent candidates (like Nader) to choose from. Voting once every four years is not the end-all of political activism, but it is a step in the right direction and only takes a few minutes to do.

  5. Thanks, folks! Some registration closes as soon as Oct. 4th (the election is coming up fast!). I think in California it’s Oct. 20th. But the point is that if you want to have a say about the direction of the United States, you need to act now. You can get started at to find the right forms.

  6. Already prioritized voting with turning electric on once the move to NY is complete. More importantly, I figured out how to make my vote count in FL since they’ll need me more than NY!

    Best meme ever.

  7. It’s a shame the video is full of democratic talking points. It’s so partisan it’s laughable. The message could have been just as powerful, without the democratic agenda.

  8. Have to agree with Andy Beal. Pretty sad, but I’d expect nothing more.

  9. Well then perhaps John and Andy should…vote. Seriously, it’s a good motivator for people who agree with the video and it’s a great motivator for people who don’t. After all, if you don’t want any of those things, you need to vote against them.

    So the video wins either way.

  10. I’m with Andy and John on the political agenda…

  11. While I respect your perspective Brian, John, and Andy… and completely understand where you’re coming from, it is sad that the issues you are referencing in the video have become part of the democratic agenda. Gay rights, womens rights, global warming, health care for everyone, etc.

    These issues should all be part of the humanist agenda. I am not going to be an extremist and say that the Republican side doesn’t care about people. But I will say that on a global scale, the perspective of many don’t see widespread care for all people coming from the Republicans.

    My evidence for why political party doesn’t matter is Ron Paul. He truly cared, he was sincere. Many of his social values conflicted with democrats, but he wore his heart on his sleeve and earned the respect of many “liberal leaning” Internet communities like Digg.

    I will repeat myself in saying that I completely respect your point of view and truly understand it. It just makes me sad that these issues are part of the democratic ‘agenda’.

  12. Nice video. Getting my 5 together now.

  13. Great to see someone doing something positive about enthuising all locals to take some responsibility for your Govt’s future direction. Difficult to undertand as an outsider why voting isn’t mandatory, at worst you get to enjoy the benefits when they get it right…free health would be a great start, something we take for granted and it only costs us 2.5% of our taxable income. Hopefully you next President’s focus is more on the folk who put him in office and their needs. God bless the US and good luck in Nov whoever wins.

  14. That was pretty funny, apparently it was on Ellen earlier.

  15. Thanks for posting this, I’ve posted it on my blog. Also, Sarah Silverman needs a shout out too, she makes me laugh as much as Jonah.

  16. they are some pretty cool people. dustin hoffman made me feel like i was watching i heart huckabees, but pretty cool.

    ok, i’m sending it on…

  17. Andy Beal and John Honeck and Brian Gottier, I started planning the blog post before I got toward the end of the video where it turned more liberal-leaning. Personally, I wish that it had stayed completely non-partisan and just urged people to vote period, without nudging people in one direction or the other.

    I think that would have made the video stronger, but I still thought it was important enough that I wanted to remind people to register. Saw your twitter John; hope you don’t mind that I wanted the register-to-vote message to go viral.

  18. It would be kind of nice to know when you are blogging as Matt Cutts, the slightly nutty cat lover, or as the voice of Google. I always think of you as the voice of Google.

    So far what I see is that Google’s policy is to get US potential voters to register to vote. Ok, that’s fine in a way.

    Is it also Google’s policy to ensure free and fair elections in, say, Zimbabwe? Is Google involved in Rwanda? Does it have a stance on Sri Lanka and the LTTE people?

    After all, Google is a global corporation, Its reach exceeds the USA by quite a lot. Sure, the USA has wide influence and is probably single handedly responsible for the current financial meltdown, and has a president that pretty much no-one listens to any more, but it’s just the USA.

    Yup, you guys probably had better register to vote. You’ll probably get the president you deserve one way or the other, but not necessarily the one you want. But keep it GLOBAL, Matt, keep it global.

  19. Tim I think its Matts personal Blogg and not Googles POV.

    And like it or not what happens in the USA does effect the rest of the world and for once I totaly agreed with a guardian leader

    BT i Think Robert has allready nailed his colours to the mast

  20. Here in Georgia you only have till the 6th of October to register if you haven’t already. There are several places online you can check to make sure you are registered too – if you’re not sure.

  21. Tim does have a bit of a lefthanded point.

    I’m leaving in about half an hour to go vote (and do client-related stuff) in the Canadian federal elections at the advance poll. I have always done so, and will always do so.

    The twist this year is twofold:

    1) The way Canadian elections work (I’m not sure if this is true in the States), you can only choose from the political parties who have established canadidates in your riding. In my particular case, only three of the four major parties in this election have candidates, and none of the “fringe” party candidates do.

    2) I have very good reasons not to vote for any of the parties involved. One of them openly practices a form of censorship; another has close ties to Bush and indirectly another very private, very wealthy organization as a result (it starts with a B, and a few of you have probably heard of it); and the third proposes a tax that couldn’t possibly work, and made a very serious mistake while in power that won’t be discovered for the next 5-10 years, and probably won’t be fully understood even then.

    For the first time since I became eligible to vote on any level in 1995, I haven’t got a candidate or a party that I can vote for. I have voted in 7 elections and knew exactly who I was going to pick going in. In #8…there’s no clear choice.

    This is what leads to voter apathy as much as anything…lack of any real, clear choice. The major parties are useless, and even if there are fringe parties available in a particular riding, they’ll never get the opportunity to be heard and possibly gain some voter support. It’s almost impossible for a fringe party to gain at least some recognitioin as a major party in a first-past-the-post system, Green Party’s efforts in Canada notwithstanding, and as a result differing opinions and ideas that may more accurately represent the populace aren’t heard.

    So what could Google do about this?

    In a non-partisan and ideally positive way (that’s the key here), it would be nice to see Google encourage others to vote by providing a series of pages that outline each party’s position, allow users to compare the parties, potentially find a fringe party in their area that may represent their own views more clearly than the existing major parties, and vote for that person. At the very least, the voter can make a more informed choice on a major political party.

    Kill the mudslinging. Kill the political game of human chess. Strip the posturing and sabre-rattling out of the election, and get it down to “here’s each party, and here’s what they stand for.” Done.

  22. The video is a great inspirational video to make people vote. Lot of cool cats on there and after seeing the debate last night, I feel obligated to vote.

  23. How can you say this video is good and has a clear message?

    First they tell us not to vote then they tell us to vote – what the hell – why confuse people?

    I’m glad I don’t live in America

  24. Jeff,

    The video has a context. The “not vote” parts are sarcastic.

  25. don’t vote – whatever you do – don’t vote

    sorry matt but this is very “american”

    ice caps are melting .. global warming … forbidding people to vote … abortion … war on drugs … nobodies listening to you … health care

    the thing is, nothing is going to change. the ice caps will keep melting, none of thee politicians will actually listen to anyone or do anything unless there is something in it for them ..

    no doubt the video will be forwarded and no doubt people will watch it, because of the people in it .. but most people know nothing is going to change – despite all the promises ..

  26. Here in Brazil today was election day for city hall and major. I’m not brazilian so I didn’t have to vote. “Have to” because in Brazil, voting is oblied. Everybody is oblied to vote. (you can also vote on nobody or cancel your vote if you don’t want it to count, but it is oblied.) The fine for not voting is I believe, $0,50 (yes 50 cents.. :), but there are also some other problems you’ll run into if you don’t vote.)

    It’s actually pretty impressive in my opinion since the whole country votes digitally and they manage to get to everybody, including people that live in the amazon florest, no matter how deep in the florest. They’ll go on boats with the voting machines and visit everybody. Considering Brazil is a developping country, it is impressive that they have all the votes counted within 24 hours.

    In my native country (the Netherlands) usually 60 to 70% of the people do vote, even though it’s not oblied. But you don’t have to register in order to vote. Everybody receives at home a paper that says where they can vote.

    Why doesn’t the USA do it like that? Why would you have to register first? The government knows about all of you, don’t they? Just simply mailing a paper that says where and when shouldn’t be that difficult. And it will increase the number of votes big time.

    Don’t we teach people that in order to get people to buy more in a website, having to register first doesn’t really help your conversion rates.

  27. #
    Jeff Said,

    October 3, 2008 @ 4:23 pm

    How can you say this video is good and has a clear message?

    First they tell us not to vote then they tell us to vote – what the hell – why confuse people?

    I’m glad I don’t live in America

    That’s a cultural thing Jeff,

    Americans will understand it the way it was intended. I’m sure in your country there are things that foreigners don’t understand and only make sense in your culture. 🙂

  28. Why doesn’t the USA do it like that? Why would you have to register first? The government knows about all of you, don’t they? Just simply mailing a paper that says where and when shouldn’t be that difficult. And it will increase the number of votes big time.

    I can’t speak for the States, but here in Canada all they do is mail you a card telling you where and when you can vote. You take the card in, present a major form of ID (driver’s license), then they move you to a second line where you have to wait 10 minutes and then vote. There may have been a registration required at some point, but it’s been so long since I’ve had to do anything other than (as my landlady puts it) “censors” that it may have since been removed.

    This doesn’t lead to higher voter turnout, however. Only 52.8% of people voted in the last Ontario provincial election, and I don’t expect the number to be very different for the upcoming federal election. People just don’t care, and there’s not a lot of reason for them to care. The choices are almost identical, the system used to determine seats in Parliament is archaic, and there isn’t a sense of leadership or original thinking among the parties.

  29. Actually stayed up until the very early hours to watch the debate last night and I gotta say while you need to vote to have a say, to be able to complain – your options are not great.

    It seemed to me that they just took every opportunity to have a pop at each other – all very childish.

    On one hand you’ve got a man who at 72 years old is struggling to stay on his feet and using CDC figures isn’t going to see out two terms and on the other hand you’ve got a man who is relatively unknown and it doesn’t really matter who gets in because they cant really fail.

    The funny thing is, whoever does get in – even if he does a fantastic job – is going to have to leave at right about the time when he probably could have started to make a difference.

  30. I’m with andy and john too on this political agenda…

  31. Damian, if you think the US political cheapshots between McCain and Obama is bad, check this out. These are the actual Youtube profiles for the three biggest political parties in Canada…as well as a site built by one of them.

    Half the ads there are negative.

    Most of the videos here are negative (so’s the comment in the top left).

    Notice the ties to Bush. Canadians hate the guy, and the Liberals play off it.

    ….nuff zed here.

    American politicians, as nasty as they can get, have got nothing on the overall negativity of Canadian politicians.

  32. Now, I dont have any voting rights, being a UK citizen, but I have to say… what a great piece of SMM/Viral Marketing! Absolutely Excellent!

    @Jeff – I dont know how you can say this video doesn’t have a clear message…

    The advert is obviously targetting citizens that have not voted yet…

    -The first part portrays the views of people that haven’t voted yet; people with an “I’ll do it tomorrow” attitude or others that don’t think it’s worthy of their time and effort.

    -The second part states the reasons why it is so crucial to vote. Welfare, Minimum Wage, Education, Economy, War…

    -The third is about hammering home the need to REGISTER to vote and also the need to do it by a CERTAIN DATE…

    -The final part gives the viewer an action plan to spread the knowledge they’ve just acquired… Send the video to 5 friends…

    Plus the likes of Jonah Hill and the Bra removing, Herpes quoting Lady, make it really memorable…

    It is often difficult to produce SMM/Viral Campaigns that are this powerful and have a clear structure/message… Sooper!