Real-Time Search = Instant Replay

I was watching the US Open Federer-Djokovic match on TV yesterday when, towards the end, Federer made an amazing, between-the-leg, return to score a point. I immediately tweetedWhat a hit by Federer!!!”. I then stopped everything I was doing to watch a couple of instant replay on CBS, the network that broadcasting the game in North America. I was floored, what a shot. Federer went on to win the game.

Turns out I wasn’t satisfied with the two instant replays the network had provided me. I wanted to see more of it! Five minutes after the game, I searched for the word “Federer” on Twitter. Somebody had already uploaded the whole scene to YouTube in HD quality! I could watch it, pause it, analyze the shot the way I wanted to. I then tweeted back
the YouTube URL for all my friends to see.

What it means: a critical mass of people were watching the game. Someone took the time to “atomize” a portion of the broadcast (the amazing shot) and uploaded it on YouTube (the support). The “news” was then “announced” on Twitter (the discovery tool). Why isn’t this happening on CBS.com?

Analysis: "Pete Waterman: 'I was exploited by Google'"

“Pete Waterman: ‘I was exploited by Google'” via The Telegraph.

The 62-year-old said the Rick Astley classic Never Gonna Give You Up, which he co-wrote and which was the subject of a YouTube craze last year, had earned him just £11 from Google, despite being viewed 154 million times.

What it means: the phenomenon mentioned above is “rickrolling“. Even though the song had amazing exposure last year, its co-writer was paid only £11 ($US 16) for his work appearing in YouTube. Not sure Google made tons of money with it (they would have shared more with Waterman) but it certainly drove a lot of traffic to the site. I think Google is now experimenting with call-to-action overlays on YouTube music videos to convince consumers that are exposed to songs to buy them online. This might eventually benefit creators.

Analysis: "Pete Waterman: 'I was exploited by Google'"

“Pete Waterman: ‘I was exploited by Google'” via The Telegraph.

The 62-year-old said the Rick Astley classic Never Gonna Give You Up, which he co-wrote and which was the subject of a YouTube craze last year, had earned him just £11 from Google, despite being viewed 154 million times.

What it means: the phenomenon mentioned above is “rickrolling“. Even though the song had amazing exposure last year, its co-writer was paid only £11 ($US 16) for his work appearing in YouTube. Not sure Google made tons of money with it (they would have shared more with Waterman) but it certainly drove a lot of traffic to the site. I think Google is now experimenting with call-to-action overlays on YouTube music videos to convince consumers that are exposed to songs to buy them online. This might eventually benefit creators.

Om Malik Says "Yahoo! Should Buy Hulu". It Won't Happen and Here's Why.

Om Malik surprised me today by suggesting [praized subtype=”small” pid=”4ba3024afad224aed466c0367141ce59″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] should buy [praized subtype=”small” pid=”b4e172b2799ee9f440309b3b6454633c” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], the joint venture video portal of NBC Universal and News Corp.  The company was founded in 2007 to create a destination site to present content from TV networks and was a response to the meteoric rise of YouTube.

Malik comes to that conclusion while thinking about the need for a solid number 2 exec at Yahoo! now that they’ve named Carol Bartz as their new CEO. He thinks Jason Kilar, Hulu’s young CEO, is a natural for that role and he suggests Yahoo! buys them.

He says: “With his service growing by leaps and bounds, and advertisers lining up to get on board, Kilar’s only problem is that he doesn’t have enough traffic –- like, say, YouTube. That will change over a period of time; and as we all know, time is an elastic concept. Perhaps this is where Yahoo can help. Or rather, where the two can help each other. Clearly search and search advertising isn’t quite working out for Yahoo; what Yahoo knows best is media and content. Which is why buying Hulu would be a strategically relevant acquisition for the company — it would play to Yahoo’s media strengths.”

He adds to explain why NBC and News Corp. would sell: “You’re probably thinking, why would Fox and GE sell their pet project to Yahoo? Well, why not? After all, they took a $100 million investment from Providence Equity Partners, which means they have an interest in making some sort of a return on this company.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Hulu is one of the core elements of NBCu and News Corp online video strategy.  They were ridiculed when it was first announced (Techcrunch called it Clown Co., they’ve changed their minds since then) but they proved everybody wrong.  Most people thought a joint venture between traditional media companies would fail, that the user experience would be bad, that no one would use it. According to this article, in September 2008, they streamed 142 million videos, a 42% month over month increase. It’s growing fast and on the verge of becoming a major player online. Selling Hulu to Yahoo! would be like AT&T selling YellowPages.com to Google. Won’t happen, nope. Don’t even think about it. As for return on investment, expect an IPO in a couple of years, not a sale.

And Hulu!  We want access in Canada!

Om Malik Says "Yahoo! Should Buy Hulu". It Won't Happen and Here's Why.

Om Malik surprised me today by suggesting [praized subtype=”small” pid=”4ba3024afad224aed466c0367141ce59″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”] should buy [praized subtype=”small” pid=”b4e172b2799ee9f440309b3b6454633c” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], the joint venture video portal of NBC Universal and News Corp.  The company was founded in 2007 to create a destination site to present content from TV networks and was a response to the meteoric rise of YouTube.

Malik comes to that conclusion while thinking about the need for a solid number 2 exec at Yahoo! now that they’ve named Carol Bartz as their new CEO. He thinks Jason Kilar, Hulu’s young CEO, is a natural for that role and he suggests Yahoo! buys them.

He says: “With his service growing by leaps and bounds, and advertisers lining up to get on board, Kilar’s only problem is that he doesn’t have enough traffic –- like, say, YouTube. That will change over a period of time; and as we all know, time is an elastic concept. Perhaps this is where Yahoo can help. Or rather, where the two can help each other. Clearly search and search advertising isn’t quite working out for Yahoo; what Yahoo knows best is media and content. Which is why buying Hulu would be a strategically relevant acquisition for the company — it would play to Yahoo’s media strengths.”

He adds to explain why NBC and News Corp. would sell: “You’re probably thinking, why would Fox and GE sell their pet project to Yahoo? Well, why not? After all, they took a $100 million investment from Providence Equity Partners, which means they have an interest in making some sort of a return on this company.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Hulu is one of the core elements of NBCu and News Corp online video strategy.  They were ridiculed when it was first announced (Techcrunch called it Clown Co., they’ve changed their minds since then) but they proved everybody wrong.  Most people thought a joint venture between traditional media companies would fail, that the user experience would be bad, that no one would use it. According to this article, in September 2008, they streamed 142 million videos, a 42% month over month increase. It’s growing fast and on the verge of becoming a major player online. Selling Hulu to Yahoo! would be like AT&T selling YellowPages.com to Google. Won’t happen, nope. Don’t even think about it. As for return on investment, expect an IPO in a couple of years, not a sale.

And Hulu!  We want access in Canada!

Om Malik Says “Yahoo! Should Buy Hulu”. It Won’t Happen and Here’s Why.

Om Malik surprised me today by suggesting Yahoo! should buy Hulu, the joint venture video portal of NBC Universal and News Corp.  The company was founded in 2007 to create a destination site to present content from TV networks and was a response to the meteoric rise of YouTube.

Malik comes to that conclusion while thinking about the need for a solid number 2 exec at Yahoo! now that they’ve named Carol Bartz as their new CEO. He thinks Jason Kilar, Hulu’s young CEO, is a natural for that role and he suggests Yahoo! buys them.

He says: “With his service growing by leaps and bounds, and advertisers lining up to get on board, Kilar’s only problem is that he doesn’t have enough traffic –- like, say, YouTube. That will change over a period of time; and as we all know, time is an elastic concept. Perhaps this is where Yahoo can help. Or rather, where the two can help each other. Clearly search and search advertising isn’t quite working out for Yahoo; what Yahoo knows best is media and content. Which is why buying Hulu would be a strategically relevant acquisition for the company — it would play to Yahoo’s media strengths.”

He adds to explain why NBC and News Corp. would sell: “You’re probably thinking, why would Fox and GE sell their pet project to Yahoo? Well, why not? After all, they took a $100 million investment from Providence Equity Partners, which means they have an interest in making some sort of a return on this company.”

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong. Hulu is one of the core elements of NBCu and News Corp online video strategy.  They were ridiculed when it was first announced (Techcrunch called it Clown Co., they’ve changed their minds since then) but they proved everybody wrong.  Most people thought a joint venture between traditional media companies would fail, that the user experience would be bad, that no one would use it. According to this article, in September 2008, they streamed 142 million videos, a 42% month over month increase. It’s growing fast and on the verge of becoming a major player online. Selling Hulu to Yahoo! would be like AT&T selling YellowPages.com to Google. Won’t happen, nope. Don’t even think about it. As for return on investment, expect an IPO in a couple of years, not a sale.

And Hulu!  We want access in Canada!

YouTube videos in Google Maps: Local Video SEO

Google just announced that you can now embed YouTube videos in merchant profiles in Google Maps. Videos are displayed in the “Photos & Videos” tab in the extended listing bubble that appears when you click on a listing.

“Local business owners can easily add YouTube videos along with other content such as business details, photos, and descriptions to their listings. To do so, simply upload your videos to YouTube and ensure that the ’embed’ option is turned on. Then, associate your video to your business listing through the Local Business Center.” A bit difficult for the average small merchant but fairly easy if you run a local SEO program.

The Google blog points to this example, I Dream of Cake in San Francisco.

I Dream of Cake San Francisco Google Maps YouTube Videos

What it means: most major North American directory publishers have launched their local video offer in the last 12 months (often powered by TurnHere or Weblistic). I think this will drastically increase the value proposition for those local videos, if publishers agree to distribute their videos in YouTube and Google Maps. I think they should do it and leverage the enormous amount of traffic found in those two sites.

Brand Nomadism: Why Are Early Adopters Leaving?

Saturday, I was reading an article in Montreal’s La Presse regarding McDonald’s entry into specialty coffee shops and how it’s a direct attack on Starbucks. I was especially intrigued by comments from Bryant Simon, a teacher at Temple University in Philadelphia. As a history teacher, he’s interested in the social phenomenon that leads us to pay a premium to belong to the Starbucks community.

Quoted in the New York Times in 2004, he said: “Starbucks has become the corner bar of the 21st century. (…) It symbolizes the hunger for community in today’s atomized world. Starbucks has tapped into people’s desire to be with other people. It’s become a new public space where people can go to be with other people. That’s the genius of the place. That’s why I resist the demonization of Starbucks. Who else is building these community spaces in America today?”

As we know, since then, Starbucks has lost its cool factor, and many of its early enthusiasts are now drinking better coffee at local places, behaving almost like wine connoisseurs. It made me thing about my “Twitter is The New Facebook” blog post, about the reasons why innovators/early adopters are very fickle and the increasing speed at which they switch brands.

adoption curve

(chart found here)

I believe the introduction of social tools on the web gives early adopters access to better information than they used to have before. It’s easier to find out if your peer “tribe” is adopting new products & services. And if they are, you trust that your tribe is right, you pick up your friends and you just leave (what I call “Brand Nomadism”). Combined with low switching costs online (the next site is only a click away), it creates a situation where we see the rise of many new “next-big-thing” Web properties (Facebook, Twitter, FriendFeed, SocialThing, etc.).

I was first exposed to that phenomenon when I saw a presentation by Bill Tancer from Hitwise at the Web 2.0 Expo last year. He showed the attendees the YouTube early adopter adoption curve. In it, you clearly see that it took only 4 months for YouTube to really explode on the scene.

youtube early adoption curve

As for Starbucks, I think they lost a lot by standardizing their product offer through the introduction of automatic coffee machines. By becoming a “middle-of-the-road” brand, they’ve basically positioned themselves in the no-man’s land between big brands like McDonalds (or Tim Hortons) and small local coffee shops, effectively being attractive to no one in particular. I believe this innovator/early adopter curve is critical to the future success of a new venture and I think that, if you want to build a sustainable long-term business, you’ll want to remember who put you in the driver seat. Make sure there’s always a place for your first customers in your strategic plan.

Southwest Airlines Uses YouTube to Reply to YouTube Attack

Great use of social media (YouTube in this case) to reply in context to a newscast (posted on YouTube as well) that portrayed Southwest Airlines as bad guys in a possible case of unruly passenger behavior.

too pretty to fly Southwest Airlines

Best quote from one of the passengers in the newscast: “I think they were just discriminating against us because we were young decent-looking girls. I mean, nobody else really on the plane looked like us except us”. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FA2r_uCJUc0)

Southwest Airlines Response to Unruly Passenger Behavior

Best quote from SouthWest’s spokesperson (in the reply): “I just want to assure you that we welcome pretty people on-board our flights, we just ask that you leave your bad behavior at home”. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPdSs3AiRhA)

You can’t invent these things!

(via Stuart Macdonald’s Twitter feed)

Google is Building a Mobile Development Platform

The Wall Street Journal reports (via ZDNet) on Google’s efforts to disrupt the wireless industry.

Of note:

“Within the next two weeks, Google is expected to announce advanced software and services that would allow handset makers to bring Google-powered phones to market by the middle of next year, people familiar with the situation say.” (…)

“The Google-powered phones are expected to wrap together several Google applications — among them, its search engine, Google Maps, YouTube and Gmail email — that have already made their way onto some mobile devices.” (…)

“Developers could, for instance, more easily create services that take advantage of users’ Global Positioning System location, contact lists and Web-browsing habits. They also would be able to interact with Google Maps and other Google applications. The idea is that a range of new social networking, mapping and other services would emerge, just as they have on the open, mostly unfettered Web. Google, meanwhile, could gather user data to show targeted ads to cellphone users.” (…)

In related news, it looks like Google is the first choice among wireless developers for developing location-enhanced application.

In another related news, YellowPages.com (owned by AT&T) announced the release of a version of their site for the iPhone. According to iLounge, “the new web app can be used by visiting yellowpages.com on an iPhone or iPod touch”

What it means: if I read between the lines, I think Google is trying to get the better of Facebook via their mobile strategy. Google is clearly designing a mobile development platform that will include basic Google applications like search, video, maps and e-mail. Developers will be able to build additional features and functionalities on top of these building blocks (like Facebook apps). Combined with the GPS-enabled phones, you will truly be able to create local social networks.