YouTubification – is this what the media needs?

I have to say I’m a big fan of YouTube. What is clever about this site from my point of view is not that there is great content on there (which there is) but the way it keeps you clicking and digging deeper. It makes me wonder if what they’ve created here is a better model for the media now that the Internet has become the common way to access news and information. If you go on the site to see a specific piece of content when you are done you will immediately be presented with other related content you may enjoy. In other words it redraws the content around your search. If you compare this to most news sites it seem light years ahead. Take Google News as an example; on the news site you can view a news story but then when you click the back button (which is your only way of being returned to Google News) you are presented with the same headlines despite the choice you made. This is pretty well the model of all news sites. In essence they have buckets of content that stay in the same place regardless of what you do as a user. Imagine however a news site that once you clicked on a news item, then reselected the content on its homepage based on the choice you just made. So for example you click on a news item about United Airlines returning to profit (which is a miracle in my opinion but that’s whole other story). Once you clicked on the news at the side would be other travel related news items, item by the same journalist from the last few days, previous articles on the topic etc etc. When you returned to the homepage the content would also be slightly different. The closet I’ve seen to this is on BBC’s site where they have links called ‘related articles.’ These links tend to be pretty straightforward though. From where I sit a YouTubification of the media has to be the way forward if they want to keep our attention.

Oh and while I’m at it, anyone care to guess how long it is before someone like Google buys YouTube?

Only in England

Let me first say I’m British and proud of the fact. However, there are things only the British can do and today I discovered a truly wonderful Britishism. In the UK there is a government institution called Companies House. Well the web site says:

The main functions of Companies House are to:
1. Incorporate and dissolve limited companies
2. Examine and store company information delivered under the Companies Act and related legislation
3. make this information available to the public.

For anyone wanting to find out about a UK business it is wonderful resource. Through the Companies House web site you can buy copies of people’s filings such as their latest set of accounts. Anyway, this is where the Britishism comes in. This wonderful example of ecommerce in action is only available from 7am to Midnight UK time. Presumably the security guard switches off the computer when he leaves.

The $10,000 PR problem

This seems like a crazy problem, but it seems Silicon Valley is again awash with money and wants to spend it on PR – sadly though it would seem there is a shortage of people who they can spend it with – this particularly the case for those companies that want to spend about $10,000 a month. Before all the relative newcomers to PR dash out to set up and soak up all this demand they should understand the real problem. The real problem is that the people who want to spend all this money want ‘experienced’ PR pros. This is of course where the catch lies. So many good people left the industry when the bubble burst that there are not that many great people around who have more than 5 years of experience (which is in turn driving up salaries). In addition the problem with most of the start ups that want to spend this kind of money is that they want at least $15,000 worth of service. The last of the problems is these businesses want lots of media attention and sadly since the bubble burst the media they can reach has shrunk. In any other market than Silicon Valley this problem would seem … as silly as it sounds. Perhaps this might encourage some of the start ups to launch in another market where their $10,000 a month will go a lot further such as China or good old fashioned Europe.