YouTube UserGen Content Steps It Up

While Cuban can complain until the cows come home that YouTube doesn’t have enough user gen content to support the GooTube purchase, the more I’m on YouTube, the more I am moved by someone’s slice of life. Probably the most valuable content, even counting my own YouTube stuff, that I’ve seen is that of the 94 year old WWII veteran, Les Loken:

YouTube has such potential for users. I can’t wait to see it grow to be the resource (and moneymaker) that it will grow to under Google’s direction.

YouTube Removes ComedyCentral’s Content Per CC’s Request

Even though the Colbert Report has gained an immense amount of publicity from the user uploaded videos, YouTube has been asked by Comedy Central to remove the copyrighted content now available at the site:

I received a couple of emails from YouTube this afternoon (see below) notifying me that a third party (probably attorneys for Comedy Central) had made a DMCA request to take down Colbert Report and Daily Show clips. If you visit YouTube, all Daily Show, Colbert Report and South Park clips now show “This video has been removed due to terms of use violation.”

Colbert makes good use of YouTube’s service and Stewart even said he doesn’t see the difference in video online or tv:

I look at it as the same as cable or anything else. Everything is geared toward more individualized consumption. Getting it off the Internet is no different than getting it off TV.

Don’t you think that Colbert and Stewart will convince the powers that be at CC to wise up? Well, they were awful stupid with Chappelle, so maybe not…

AOL’s Looking For Vloggers

I noticed this today on Journalism Jobs, Vloggers:

Paid Freelance Video Bloggers:

Needed: Savvy, professional video bloggers/writers for national blog network. The ability to write short, quippy daily posts and photo/video captions is essential.

Looking here: New York City The San Francisco Bay Area Austin St. Louis Seattle Chicago Washington, DC Los Angeles Atlanta New Orleans

They’re also looking for bloggers and photo bloggers. Looks like they are going to Phase 2.

zeFrank and Rocketboom Spar Over Numbers

The videoblogging group is currently going back and forth on this issue. From Andrew at Rocketboom:

After some discrepancy, Ze Frank has laid into me because he doesn’t believe how he could only have a fraction of the audience size of Rocketboom.

I was pretty surprised because we have had some friendly emails recently and he has asked me about my stats but apparently didn’t believe me. I have even offered to have him come by and have a look but he would rather just assume I must be wrong I guess.

It turns out Ze receives about 30,000 downloads per day compared to Rocketboom which receives well over 300,000 per day.

Ze had this to say. Alexa even got in on the action and posted this graph on their homepage today.


Why does this matter? Advertising baby. Pageviews/Downloads/CPM Reliable stats are paramount to advertisers.

One of the smartest, well written commentaries on the issue came from FrozenNorth.

One point that is definitely worth reminding us of is:

Some ISPs (most notoriously AOL) will cache web pages on their internal network as a way to save bandwidth. When an AOL subscriber requests a page, the AOL proxy server will first check to see if it already has a copy–and if so, the subscriber gets it from the AOL proxy, and the request never hits the host site.

This is a very effective way to save bandwidth, but it can wreak havoc on server statistics. On my company’s website, as much as 25% of our traffic comes from AOL, and on the static pages we never see it in our logs (but we know it’s there because we still get requests for the dynamic web pages).

However, it is possible to configure your web server to instruct proxy servers (like AOL’s) to not cache your page. If Andrew set up his server this way but zeFrank didn’t, this could account for a large fraction of the discrepancy.

If you are into understanding your traffic, FrozenNorth’s post is jam up (as I used to say in High School).

Google Bought YouTube Today

Google is betting that YouTube isn’t going away anytime soon, despite some who maintain that it will soon be sued out of existence. Of course, the deals that YouTube made today with CBS, Vivendi’s Music Group and Sony BMG, in addition to last month’s Warner Music Deal will increase their chances at avoiding litigation considerably.

In buying the not-yet-profitable YouTube, Google has given them time to put down solid roots, rather than having to jump at any advertising deal possible to avoid cutting off the bandwidth. YouTube has given Google excitement, passionate users and lots more real estate for their advertising. I don’t care what anyone says, even if corporate america is too stupid to take advantage of social advertising, there is a plethora of small-time advertisers chomping at the bit to reach this audience.

Earlier today Jeremiah was looking for answers as to how Yahoo might react. His position that Yahoo might choose to approach content creation and avoid being just another uploader (ie copy of YouTube) is spot on. Vimeo, (my fav), VideoEgg, Revver, etc. are all good purchase options, though they may want to redesign Jumpcut to that end.

With the emergence of broadband and with the stampede towards social sites, who *wouldn’t* want to have a piece of YouTube’s action. As I’ve said before, YouTube is so much like an early Google. The synergy here is beautiful.

LonelyGirl 15’s Creators Admit To YouTube Fraud

Creative Artists Agency, after being found to be the creators of the ‘show’ that many truly believed to have been made by a lonely, homeschooled girl, were forced to admit that they were behind the fraudulent content.  Several sharp-eyed researchers unraveled the fraud after her emails were found to be originating from the studio.  The past week has seen an unprescented amount of discussion in the blogosphere as bloggers tried to determine whether or not it was a hoax.
But, now it seems the jig is up.  There are comments on her YouTube profile written from former fans that lament the fact that she’s a fake, but none yet on her MySpace page.  I feel I need to remind everyone, though, that probably 1/4 of the people on the net are totally lying about who they are.
They’ve promised to answer the questions soon which is annoyingly vague and they also tell us that their “intention from the outset has been to tell a story– A story that could only be told using the medium of video blogs and the distribution power of the internet.”  Whatever, the misleading marketing ploy will not be likely to instill trust and increase revenue for the agency.  Viral campaigns can be amazing, but they can also, very easily, negatively impact your brand.

Sony Buys Grouper

I don’t know how I feel about this, but I had to share this with you as soon as I got it.

CULVER CITY, Calif., Aug. 23 /PRNewswire/ — Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) has acquired Grouper, the fast-growing user-generated video site on the Internet, it was announced today by Michael Lynton, SPE Chairman and Chief Executive Officer., which is the second largest independent video community, enables its members to watch, share and create video on the Web. Under the terms of the $65 million deal, the Sausalito-based company will retain its current management, working closely with a team at Sony Pictures.

Grouper’s primary mission is to give its users the flexibility to take their videos with them across site and platform. Grouper users can browse videos and easily post them to a wide variety of third-party Web sites, such as their personal pages on MySpace, Blogger and Friendster. Grouper’s portability is anchored by its robust peer-to-peer video sharing network, which facilitates downloads of high quality uncut original video shared by its members. Its users can download from to connected mobile devices like the PSP and iPod. Grouper also provides members with easy-to-use video editing tools so that videos can be quickly uploaded from cameras, camcorders and webcams.

Lynton said the acquisition of Grouper is a strategic initiative in the field of digital entertainment and consistent with Sony Pictures’ vision of making entertainment accessible to consumers whenever, wherever and however they want. No immediate changes are planned for the site. Over time, Lynton said there is potential for development of ad-supported and premium content businesses. “Grouper gives us a strong platform for growth,” Lynton said.

In addition, he noted that there is value in connecting an enormous amount of imaginative content with a studio that is always interested in finding new ideas and talent for the movies, television shows and games it creates for audiences around the world. “A site like Grouper allows people to showcase their creativity to a vast audience,” Lynton said. “It’s like a virtual, global audition, and a great source of entertainment,” Lynton said.

Learning to Vidcast

I’ve just posted my third vidcast and here’s what I’ve learned so far about the medium.

1.  Think small

My first one took me 3 weeks of my time, which thoroughly discouraged me from repeating the process.  My second and third took about an hour or two each (between planning, recording, editing and uploading) and that’s really about what it takes me to do a podcast and it’s a much more manageable outlay of time.

Also, in the same vein, I wanted to do HD to begin with and I wanted to do a great deal of geeky transitions and picture-in-picture editing as well.  I found that it was just as interesting to film straight and add in some footage about what I was discussing and that HD, at this stage in the ballgame was a little unrealistic for me.

Plus, since the videos need to be seen on YouTube/Google Video, I need to make sure they are still enjoyable, even if seen at a poor resolution (very little on-screen text can be read that way), so the less I mucked around with the vidcast, the better.

2.  Promotion means networking
There is a tight-knit community of vloggers out there and they love to embrace new vlogs.  However, these guys/gals are highly savvy and you can’t ‘market’ to them if you want to be treated well.  You must be a contributing member of their society, and that’s what I hope to become.  I’ve been lurking in the videoblogging group on yahoo for 9 months now and I’ve tried to learn as much as I can in that time.

You do have to promote at times, though, so I joined these communities to promote and take part in the vlog world.

1.  BlipTV – Free video hosting and is particularly focused on the needs of the videoblogger (not like YouTube).  I host my files there and link to them from my videoblog.  Were it not for this I would not be able to have a vidcast.  This is the file that is downloadable and my RSS feed delivers this ‘rich media’ to vlog-catchers.
2.  YouTube – Free video hosting with promotion aimed at the general public.  I link to the files on YouTube from my videoblog as well. YouTube’s ownership is too great for many vloggers so they avoid YouTube, but I need to reach the people there so I consider it a trade-off.  I’m actually a YouTube director, which sounds cool but it really just means I can add videos of longer than 10 mins and I can customize my profile a little more (still not to the degree of MySpace).

One thing to remember though about YouTube is that just linking to the YouTube file will not allow download via RSS because YouTube’s file is not downloadable, but streams (heh heh, but streams).

3.   FireAnt, MeFeedia, VlogDir – I joined these public blog directories.  I’m going to spend some time, as I do on YouTube, viewing and commenting on other’s hard work.  They’re more likely to check out my work if I have checked out theirs.  Blog spammers should take note here.  We want to check out your site, but you need to leave more than “me too, check out my site” to get noticed amongst all the chatter.  People are more likely to check out your stuff if you leave a great comment (ie thought provoking) on their site.

I also put myself on the vlogmap.

4.  MySpace – I also uploaded the videos to MySpace and I sent out my first MySpace bulletin last night (after almost 2 years on the site) letting my friends know I was vidcasting.  Not sure if this will be helpful, but I’ve already gotten three comments from acquaintances that they liked the vidcast, so they must have watched it (’cause it is good LOL).

The video encoding and all that is easy, because once you look at it you can tell if it looks good or bad.  As I said before I have chosen to settle for less than perfect here.   The main thing I really have to do now is get the videos in the correct format for iTunes (mp4) so that I can tackle that market as well.

Hope this was helpful for some of you aspiring vidcasters.  I’ll keep you posted on the success of the venture.