Posts tagged ‘you tube’

Quantity Versus Quality

Scobleizer recently blogged about Fred, a 14-year old kid who’s gotten over 40 million views on youtube for his incredibly annoying depiction of a 6-year old with anger management issues and an alcoholic mom. I don’t blame Fred’s mom – listening to him would drive anyone to booze. He’s even worse than Mary, the screaming judge on So You Think You Can Dance.

The fact that over 40 million people would voluntarily listen to Fred’s high-pitched whining astounds me. Sure, he’s somewhat amusing and his storylines and character development are pretty impressive for a 14-year old. But over 40 million views? Really?

Scobleizer uses Fred to make the point that when it comes to web traffic, quality matters more than quantity:

If traffic is your goal, here’s the formula. Do something really stupid that’ll make people laugh.

Me? I’ll stick with having a few thousand people passionate about learning more from innovative technologists and other leaders.

Why not get into the traffic race? Because I’d rather be in the race for a smart, focused audience. That’s where the real action is.

Scoble has it right. And “action” is the right word. As I’ve mentioned before, I work at a nonprofit education association that launched an education campaign a little over a year ago. I care less about the overall web traffic on our campaign’s website, and more about the number of web visitors who have taken some sort of action. Who’s commented on our blog, downloaded our toolkits, or emailed their friends with news about our campaign? It just makes sense to measure and value action when the end goal is action.

I feel the same way about the media hits my organization gets. Five hundred “hits” in which we’re peripherally mentioned in an article or listed in a bibliography doesn’t mean that much to me. But to be the focus of one positive entry on a well-read blog or to be extensively quoted in a respected trade pub – that’s priceless.

This leads me to the “what is a quality media hit?” question. In our long tail world where the continual birth of blogs, podcasts, vlogs, and more has given rise to countless and increasingly segmented media outlets, I think the answer to the quality question changes based on our target publics and desired objectives.

Parents are a highly coveted public for my organization’s education campaign. Dare I say a mention on ParentsConnect or TotSpot might make more sense for our campaign than a mention in the New York Times?

I’d still take the New York Times though…


July 4, 2008 at 5:22 pm 1 comment

Rilo Kiley and We the Media

I’m willing to bet Rilo Kiley and Gillmor’s “We the Media” haven’t appeared in the same sentence before. But I was at Rilo Kiley’s terrific show at the 9:30 Club two nights ago and I was reminded of the book’s points about cell phones with picture-taking capability and digital cameras that can shoot video. Gillmor describes the potential of these tools to capture and disseminate news, but he also cautions that we’re “only beginning to understand the consequences” of these technological developments and that they can be used improperly and lead to invasion of privacy.

Before being allowed entry to the Rilo Kiley concert, my bag was searched. Upon seeing my digital camera, 9:30 Club staff told me that pictures are “no problem” but the band asked that we not record any portions of the concert. I heeded that request, but as Rilo Kiley stepped on stage and the lights went down, out came dozens of digital cameras that were doing more than taking pictures. I overheard a concert goer next to me assert that a bunch of videos would be on you tube tomorrow. Sure enough, my quick you tube search yesterday brought up at least three videos from the concert. I won’t link to them here out of deference to the band’s wishes, but if you’re really curious you can search you tube yourself.

Who knows – maybe the videos will generate new Rilo Kiley fans. But I also understand the band’s wishes to keep their live concerts a privilage of their hundreds of paying fans. And the little digital cameras don’t do the best job of capturing Rilo Kiley’s great sound.

I’m curious what others think about the pros and cons of picture-taking cell phones and digital cameras with video capability. Do you think it’s wrong for concert goers to take videos and upload the images to you tube? If so, how can that behavior and other improper uses of such equipment be better policed without infringing on people’s rights?

June 8, 2008 at 10:52 pm 2 comments

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