Archive for the 'video distribution' Category

making a video go ‘viral’ – Who vs. How Many

A couple of months back a guest post on TechCrunch outlined how he gets at least 10,000 people watching his clients’ “viral” videos.

The writer was Dan Ackerman Greenberg, co-founder of The Commotion Group and he got roasted alive for the ‘secrets’ he outlined.

The main reasons for this were to do with the underhand methods he described. What his views showed was that it was clearly possible to force something viral. What it also highlighted was the liklihood of being shown up if you did it badly – being seen as a charlatan is the last thing a big brand wants – particularly if they’re pushing their content in order to generate greater advocacy – it’s counter-productive.

There was another post I found recently which showed another way of doing it. Written by Kevin Nalts, a career marketer, on his blog willvideoforfood has written a 34 page booklet on how to promote your videos on YouTube. Called “How To Become Popular on YouTube (Without Any Talent)“, it explains how hard work, passion and dedication have made him the YouTuber he is today.

Both the above views should be read and digested. When it comes to promoting content on behalf of a brand a balance between the two views needs to be found. More often than not there simply isn’t the resource available to create the kind of YouTube persona that Kevin has achieved – it’s only over a long period of time and constant effort that he’s created the influence he has. More often than not agencies need to hire that kind of influence in the form of a guerilla marketing company along the lines of The Commotion Group.

However, there are a number of steps that can be taken to ensure content spreads successfully:

  • Content – Is the subject matter and story compelling enough to get people to pass it along? This is a different question to whether or not it’s entertaining.
  • Optimisation – This has to do with how long the clip is, how you optimize it, what tags you use, and when you submit it. In this regard, both Dan and Kevin have some excellent suggestions which are worth reading.
  • Reach – This is a key element to getting a video viewed by as many people as possible. It boils down to finding the right influencers to pass it on. In Kevin’s situation he is the influencer. This is the best scenario – by truly spending the time to find people that the video will be relevant for. The worst way is to spam large groups of people; only a small percentage of whom will find it relevant, and to fabricate identities which leads to the 4th factor
  • Inflation – This is where the views of Kevin & Dan vary the most. A key element of Dan’s strategy in making videos go viral amounts to Inflation. By gaining views by spamming friends, creating fake profiles and hiring ‘click monkeys’ it’s true that you do get better stats, sadly they are tactics that many SMO are employing, bringing the entire business sector down with them.

YouTube and others are investing a great deal of time and effort against fraudsters who employ inflation and spamming. Whilst it’s possible to create an approach that avoids necessitating use of Inflation, it may mean that you don’t reach that elusive 100,000 viewer mark.

At the end of the day, a much better metric for success is usually whether the right people saw the video, not whether the right number of people saw it…

“The more people you reach the more likely it is that you’re reaching the wrong people” – Seth Godin

youtube as a teaching tool

YouTube is now an important teaching tool at UC Berkeley.

The school announced on Wednesday that it has begun posting entire course lectures on the Web’s No.1 video-sharing site.

Berkeley officials claimed in a statement that the university is the first to make full course lectures available on YouTube. The school said that over 300 hours of videotaped courses will be available at

Berkeley said it will continue to expand the offering. The topics of study found on YouTube included chemistry, physics, biology and even a lecture on search-engine technology given in 2005 by Google cofounder Sergey Brin.

“UC Berkeley on YouTube will provide a public window into university life, academics, events and athletics, which will build on our rich tradition of open educational content for the larger community,” said Christina Maslach, UC Berkeley’s vice provost for undergraduate education in a statement.

What struck me when I visited the YouTube UC Berkeley page was how difficult it was to navigate and browse the 201 lectures that have been uploaded…It’s all well and good having a google search box, but go ahead and click ‘view all’ and you’re presented with 20 video thumbnails per page over 10 pages, with nothing chapterizing the content.

Whilst I think UC Berkeley have done something brilliant by offering this free learning, it just goes to show that YouTube is often not the best solution out there. Yes, it’s got eyeballs but that’s not so important when your content is this valuable. People will search for it and it’s the functionlaity of the player which will add value to the experience. To get an idea of what I mean consider this example.

What I find most interesting in comparing Veotag with Youtube is that the main difference is in the length of the content being played. YouTube is ideally suited to sub 10min viral content, whilst Veotag is much more suited to long form content – more than 30mins – which can be dipped in to.

MyStrands made its name by offering audio recommendations based on what you listen to.

It’s now launched a music video service which pulls in the majority of it’s content from YouTube, but significantly seems to be doing so in a more robust fashion than any of its competitiors such as iLike, and MOG. One of the other interesting competitior in the form of Now they’ve got a really bad design, but a very good Flex widget and a bunch of interesting things going on – well worth a look.
Techcrunch has an article on it.

MyStrands has always been a very interesting company for me, and that’s illustrated by their labs page.

I was very impressed with


One of the great things about the Web is the ability to link to a Web page, or a part of a Web page, from anywhere. Asterpix, wants to bring that same ease of use to the world of video. The company’s technology -– which it calls hypervideo — gives authors the ability to link directly to objects displayed inside video clips.

Hotspots can be placed on points of interest throughout the entire video clip and tracked. The hotspots are designated with blinking circles; click on them in the video to access the author’s notes, tags and target links. (Here’s a version of the ‘Battle at Kruger’ YouTube video – which has had over 16millions views – but with added links through to the relevant Wikipedia pages)

Crucially, the service doesn’t require you to download separate software on to your desktop. Instead, you simply sign up and embed the videos as you would from any video source such as YouTube, MetaCafe, or Blip. Asterpix adds a separate invisible layer on top of the video that contains all the metadata (aka relevant linking information). Then just go ahead and drop it in your blog or on your MySpace page.

Asterpix’s technology could have big implications for online video-related advertising as it would allow advertisers to embed hotspots around products of high commercial value. For instance, Le Bron James videos could link his shoes to NikeTown stores, or Tiger Woods’ clips could help push golf clubs or even apparel.

All very cool and more impressive than anything I’ve seen so far.

joost acquires

Liz Gannes over at NewTeeVee has written about this. Why’s this important?

Joost currently has over 238 channels and 10,298 programs – I don’t know how many hours that is, but they’re all fed into the Joost platform via Video Feed in the form of (RSS). OnTheToob enables you to own customized channels, interactive tags, and RSS feeds of the latest Joost content.

You can even enable programs you’ve selected to have their own ‘digg it’ button. Owning this is a smart move by Joost because there’s power in them there feeds…

Joost opens up its API

Joost logo
As mentioned by Janko Roettgers over at NewTeeVee, Joost has opened up its API for developers to write their own widgets.

niche sport content heading online

An interesting article over at

Grassroots buzz and genuinely interesting sports are perfect for internet consumption. Think about televised Ultimate Frisbee tournaments or Roller Hockey…These are the types of programmes that have niche audiences and offer the ability to be experimented with.

I see huge potential in this space…

The US Presidential Candidature

…is an excellent way of citing the differences and knowledge between the campaign teams and how they’re using the internet and digital media. I think it’s important for two reasons. It’s important because the US election will be won on-line and it’ll be won by the candidate who is able to react to and converse with the US citizens the best.

Continue reading ‘The US Presidential Candidature’

Is it better to be memorable to fewer or consumable to more?

This is the question Todd Purgason, Creative Director of Juxt Interactive, posed yesterday when he spoke at FlashontheBeach in Brighton. Firstly, let me start by saying that I admire Todd’s work and the work that’s come out of Juxt Interactive for a long time. However, I didn’t feel he really attempted to answer the question…so I’m going to try. Continue reading ‘Is it better to be memorable to fewer or consumable to more?’

Monetizing consumer created content

With YouTube now owned by Google, how long will it be before Joe Bloggs- that crazy guy who’s actually creating the content people go to YouTube to watch – realizes that their content and the time they’ve taken to create it, is worth something… Continue reading ‘Monetizing consumer created content’

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