I've been enjoying Bert Decker's blog Create Your Communications Experience. It sounds a little dry, but I've found that his common sense approach to being a better communicator hits home with me. We all need to be better communicators, right?
Video will become ubiquitous â€“ and the smart entrepreneur and leader will become adept at knowing how they come across so they can use the medium. Itâ€™s more than just YouTube â€“ we will be sending video in our emails, using it embedded in power points, and having instantaneous messages in this most powerful of mediums.
Indeed. This is one of my personal goals for 2007 - learning to be comfortable and confident on video and turn the medium into an asset on CommonCraft.com.
I think this is a great example of how video changes the way that we can describe a complex and conceptual idea, in this case, the evolution of the Web. It sounds so simple, but that's what excites me so - video is not text, it's a format that provides completely new opportunities for us to communicate on the Web.
This wonderfully produced video is by Michael Wesch, Assistant professor of Cultural Anthropology, Kansas State University. It's a tad too geeky in my opinion, but still a nice piece.
Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, the dynamic duo behind the webâ€™s most deadly source of advice, Ask a Ninja, have struck gold with a Federated Media payday, which includes a $300,000 upfront payment along with 60 percent of ad revenue, according to our sources.
I'm excited for a couple of reasons. The first of which is excitement for Douglas. I learned a few months ago that he is the very same Douglas Sarine that was one of my best friends in college - he lived next to me in the dorms. In fact, we hung out with him in Hollywood in December and he treated us to one of the best Hollywood experiences we could imagine.
Second, it's exciting because he and Kent are out to challenge the Hollywood status quo and this step brings them that much closer. Go Ninja go!
New Tee Vee then added a couple of great tidbits. First, by transcribing Chad's words for those that prefer text:
In terms of paying users revenue against the content that theyâ€™re uploading, weâ€™re definitely going to move in that direction, but we didnâ€™t want to build a system that was motivated by monetary reward, we wanted to build a true community around video. When you start out with giving money to people from day 1, theyâ€™ll just switch to the next providerâ€¦thatâ€™s paying more. So we feel that weâ€™re at a scale now that weâ€™ll be able to do that and really be able to have a true community around video.
I really appreciate his focus on community and they have done an great job so far, but I think You Tube's future is much more based on being a video-ad host than a video community. You Tube will continue to be the biggest and most prolific video sharing community, but its size causes dilution. In the future people will use You Tube as a host and then take their video embed code to other sites, blogs, video sharing groups to participate in more focused, personal and niche driven communities on the web.
Fictitious example statement: "No one on You Tube wants to see my China documentary - but my friends over at ChinaDocumentaryLovers.com are going nuts over it."
The question is if these niche communities will drive enough views to warrant the ads in the videos. Here's one way the money will flow in the future:
Hosts may ask this person, as they upload their video: Do you want to make money by placing an ad in this video? More views = more $.
The person will say 'yes' and once the video is uploaded, the site will spit out the embed code for the video, including the ad.
The person will understand that the code enables them to share that video wherever they want.
The big question is: where will this video (with ads) get viewed the most?
Given the choice, do you think video creators are going to just leave their video on You Tube, or are they going to find communities that truly appreciate their work (and drive views)? You Tube has the member volume to financially reward the video creators that produce the type of content the You Tube community values. However, it is only one community and many will be turned off of You Tube simply because it is so big.
My bet is that we're going to see an amazing growth of video sharing communities that don't actually host any video at all. They simply enable people to paste in their embed code from any one of these hosts.
The big questions for video creators who want to make ad money will be:
Which host pays more, has the best ads, the best relationships, best players, etc.
Where can I share my video (via embed code) to maximize the number of views?
I've come to realize something recently. All this news around Joost and TV-on-the-Internet is interesting and disruptive and cool, but it doesn't match with my interests as much as I thought. I don't really care so much about a new way to watch TV.
What interests me is user generated video, or video for the web (as opposed to video for the TV). I realized something interesting while making videos on our trip last year. When shooting video, I never even considered gathering my family and friends around the TV to watch an hour or two of video from our trip. That seemed so boring. I was shooting video for a single purpose: editing an experience down to less than three minutes and putting the video on the Internet. I didn't realize it for a while, but this was a different sort of video - video for the web and not for the TV. I'm betting that we're at the very beginning of a trend where many more people are going to make this same transition from video for the TV to video for the web.
You may be asking - what does this have to do with Social Design? My answer is that video for the web is a new format of community participation. Video has unique properties that can make for completely new ways for people to work and learn together. So, after learning more about Joost, I can see that it's not what I thought it would be. To borrow a couple of phrases from John Battelle, Joost is Packaged Good Media and I'm interested in what he calls Conversational Media. I'm interested in how we can use video for the web to push the concept of community in new directions.
It seems to me that Joost is much more about creating a new TV experience than another outlet for user generated video content. This quote from the article is pivotal.
Paradoxically, one thing ZennstrÃ¶m and Friis don't particularly want is user-generated content. That's partly tactical, a way to differentiate their new baby from YouTube. But they've also learned -- the hard way -- about the risks of letting the audience upload protected material.
While they do say that the goal is to let "users" upload their own content, it's not clear what it takes to be a user. Right now, it appears that Joost is going to be a platform for an infinite variety of professionally produced shows, all organized and presented using the best capabilities of the Internet (search and infinite volume). LonelyGirl15 may have a show on Joost one day, but it looks clear that the quality bar will be quite high.
So ZennstrÃ¶m and Friis are making a run straight at the most reliable early adopters: young men. Watch for sci-fi shows, rock videos, sports, comedy -- anything with a testosterone angle. Deals are in the works with the three music majors, plus top US broadcasters and cable channels. For the rest of the world, there's a modified PBS strategy: classic reruns, documentaries, and independent dramas. Nothing too obscure, though: Content that few people want to see -- what Leiden engineers call "the too-long tail" -- crimps a P2P network's advantage.
For now it least, it appears to me that You Tube and Joost are apples and oranges. The big difference being potential content. You Tube (for now anyway) is a platform for everyone to see everyone else's short videos and clips from mainstream media. Joost is all about achieving a level of quality that allows it to become the new way for people watch TV quality programming via the Internet. What we may see is that a site like You Tube becomes an incubator for shows that could become hits on Joost. Direct competition though? I don't see it.