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Scraping around YouTube

The Wall Street Journal’s Lee Gomes has been scraping around YouTube and comes up with some fascinating numbers:

  • In one month the number of videos posted on the site grew 20% to 6.1 million
  • Number of video views reached 1.73 billion
  • 70% of YouTube’s registered users are American, roughly 50% are under 20 according to self-reported profile data [this point is especially relevant to marketers considering using YouTube as a media channel]
  • The total amount of time people spent watching videos on YouTube since it started last year is 9,305 years

These metrics are impressive, but there are a few points which I feel need further exploration (hint, hint Hitwise folks…)

  1. How many of those videos are related to brands or products? Of those, how many were UGC vs. brand promo content?
  2. Of the user-base how many are active participants vs. passive users?
  3. Of the videos posted how many reside in the long-tail and how many are at the head? What is the percentage of overall videos with less than 2% traffic?

Gomes also makes note of the types of terminology used within the video titles to infer popularity of subject matter, and finds that the standbuys of “love”, “music”, “dance”, and “girl” are at the top of the list (as to be expected from the majority youth demo). However, he then completely over-reaches with this interpretation of his findings:

Also, nearly 2,000 videos have “Zidane” in the title. Who at a desk anywhere on the planet didn’t watch at least one head-butt video in the days after French soccer star Zinedine Zidane’s meltdown in the World Cup final? For all the talk of the Internet fragmenting tastes and interests, YouTube is an example of the Web homogenizing experiences.

This conclusion warrants further thought from a few angles as it’s quite broad with little context. Yes, there are 2,000 videos with Zidane in the title, but are they all the same? Or are they each a reflection of an individual’s perspective on the incident? Some are funny, some are nothing more than the clip itself, some are shorter, some are longer, etc. Is that homogenization or is it embracing a shared experience, making it your own and expressing it back to the community? Metrics alone, as marketers know, rarely provide a full picture, but rather a directional basis for analysis and interpretation.

Additionally, the Zidane example actually proves the point of fragmented interests – out of over 6 million videos on the site ONLY 2,000 have Zidane in the title. Is that not the definition of niche interests? Finally, user-generated videos are not “The Internet”, but rather one part of a much larger and more complex whole.

[H/T - Micropersuasion]

[photo credit: Al-Fassam on Flickr]

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Marketing & Advertising blog network

Marketing.fm has launched a network of marketing & advertising blogs syndicated under one RSS feed hosted by Feedburner. The blogs included have a readership of over 50,000 subscribers and cover topics which range from marketing, new media, PR, online, TV, radio, Web 2.0, branding to influential discussion. (3i) is pleased to be part of this project – thanks to Eric & Lee for including me.

A few of the initial network participants:

Subscribe to this network

In other related RSS news, (3i) has also joined the Newstex Blog on Demand” syndicated network.

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iBegin’s innovative charity drive

iBegin is a Toronto-based social reviewed search engine which enables the community to provide feedback on establishments, events, and residences, etc. in and around the city. Ahmed Farooq dropped me a line to let me know about a great charity drive iBegin has started which directly helps the Assaulted Women’s Helpline in Toronto. For each review or picture submitted to iBegin, 50 cents will be donated to charity with the goal being at least $10,000.

It’s an amazing venture and one I am proud to support – I plan on adding my first review today and will be snapping some shots of the Kensington Market area establishments later this week.

I asked Ahmed a few questions via email about how iBegin got started and the goal of the charity drive:

1. When did iBegin get off the ground? Who are the founders?

iBegin went live on March 4, 2006. You can read a bit more about how we think here. I run the site alone (I own a successful web development company).

2. What differentiates you from a RedToronto or Toronto.com?

This post sums it up well. It is quality results extended with useful information (pictures, reviews, tags, etc).

3. How are you spreading the word?

Bloggers, our own sites, and friends. Bloggers are the key ingredient here. We have opted to skip around traditional marketing methods for all of iBegin, and this donation drive is no different. It is so simple – add reviews or pictures, get money donated to charity, that I expect it to do well. It is a win-win situation for everyone. [note: you can download a banner for your blog at the iBegin site]

4. What motivated iBegin to undertake the charity campaign with the Assaulted Women’s Helpline?

Really it is more of a ‘why not?’ From my own point of view, I think a lot of people are teetering on the edge – they really want to be independent, they really want to make a difference, but they just need a little bit of a boost. And who appreciates life and needs a boost more than the women who call the helpline? Rhetorical question of course :)

5. Are you planning to expand to other cities outside of the GTA?

We will be expanding ’soon’. Our next city will be Ottawa, but there is no confirmed time-line on that.

The campaign runs from August 28th – October 15th with a daily goal of $200-300. So far they’re at $48 and counting so get those reviews going Torontonians – I know you have an opinion of your local watering hole or favourite restaurant! Share them with the world for a good cause!

[photo credit: moonpointer 1 on Flickr]

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The 22 Immutable Laws of Customer Engagement

Following up on two great posts by Sean @ Buzz Canuck & Colin @ Canuckflack that started the “22 Immutable Laws” series based on the original by Ries & Trout, I went a bit off the beaten path from Sean’s list and put together 22 laws for something that is at the core of social media interactions and marketing – engagement.

Without further ado:

  1. Tell me up front what you want from me
  2. Give me a reason to listen to you
  3. Give me a reason to continue listening to you
  4. Be transparent
  5. Be authentic
  6. Don’t waste my time with fluff
  7. No need to be so pushy
  8. This is a courtship, not a wedding
  9. Tell me again why I should care
  10. Solve a problem for me, or at the least entertain me
  11. Keep it simple and intuitive
  12. Don’t bore me
  13. Make it easy for me to interact with you
  14. Respond when I send a note
  15. Don’t ask for more info than you should need
  16. Don’t make me work to get to know you
  17. The product better live up to the hype
  18. Get to know me a little
  19. Speak to me personally
  20. Don’t abuse my trust
  21. Speak to me in my language, not yours
  22. I’m not stupid, I’m your mother

I may take a crack at another one this weekend, but I really should be packing…

[photo credit: eye2eye on Flickr]

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FF: Most over-used marketing phrase

Taking a cue from the recentmost over-used business cliches in the press‘ report, I started to ponder which marketing or ad jargon I really wish would go the way of the dinasours… so, for the first inaugural Friday Frivolity @ (3i), my vote for the most over-used (or annoying) advertising phrase of the week is:

“We should make it viral…”

What phrase would you toss out this week?

{the image is of the Chinese character for “fun” ;)}

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