free html hit counter February 2007 - John Battelle's Search Blog

Subversion Has Its Place: Forget the Deal, Use the Platform

By - February 28, 2007


People in big media companies sometimes ask me about YouTube and the content conundrum. In short: Should they post their stuff up there, or not? My answer comes back as sort of a koan – yes, of course, do both.

Mark Cuban, who is a consistent and very vocal YouTube critic, points out a few issues as to why. I have to admit, I think he is onto something here. (OK, I don’t always agree with him, but I do always read him…). In short, Cuban says, use YouTube. After all, everyone else is.

There is something almost subversive in using YouTube as a marketing or promotional venue for content that can be found on another site. If you are a big media company, why, don’t just post trailers, post stuff that you create specifically for the YouTube audience. If it gets your knickers in a bunch, don’t post the whole thing (unless of course you have a deal you like). If you don’t (in Cuban’s example – the Oscars- there was no deal), well, use YouTube as the best promotion network ever invented.

If what you post works, Google will be motivated to quickly cut a deal on your terms to share revenues with your content. It’s not like Google hasn’t already proven it’s ready to do so. It’s just that big media companies have been afraid of doing anything until they get a Deal. But, getting a Deal means hundreds of thousands of dollars of legal fees and months (if not years) of wasted time. For now, strengthen your position by using YouTube as a way to promote what you already have. Is that so wrong? I’d be interested in anyone’s opinion saying it is. Because in the end, the answer lies not in some theoretical argument, but in the attention given by the folks watching and reacting to what you post. If they hate what you do, stop doing it and figure out a way to give them what works. If they appreciate it as a way to navigate to your site, why, you’ve won. As Mark wrote:

Rather than sending take down notices, they should be leveraging the technology and medium and making it their own.

Hear hear. YouTube subverted your model, Big Media. Time to subvert it back. YouTube is a platform. Are you using it? Or are you waiting for the Deal? Forget the deal….figure out how to use what’s already there! If you get good at it, well, the Deal gets a lot easier to do.

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Keane to CBS

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Google is losing a senior ad guy, and a real nice fellow to boot, to CBS. SEL has the news.

Here’s the release, as well.

What, Numbers from Google?

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Gadget Info

Yes, indeed. Google’s code blog has hard numbers on the number of calls to Google’s Gadgets. It’s clear Google is looking to promote these tools, as allowing numbers like these to get out is not common. In fact, I’d say it’s a totally unnatural act for Google. The numbers are not aggregated in one place, but Radar has done some of it for us. From that post:

* Google Map – 4,861,113

* PacMan v2.0 – 8,114,344

* DIGG – 3,228,599

* My IP – 1,063,244

* Wikipedia – 27,314,972

* Countdown – 2,076,028

* Online Second Life Friends – 1,396

* Free Sudoku Puzzles – 4,450,349

* Memory Game – 647,151

A Very Bad Day for Markets. What Does It Mean?

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When was the last time the market dropped 500 points? Yep, right after 9.11. Today’s events – we can blame China, but I don’t buy it – I sense the US markets were waiting for a reason to head for the hills. It reminded me of a few events in the tech world – 9.11, the dot com bust, the Asian flu.

Each of those events predicated major changes in the world, and certainly in my life and the lives of tons of folks in our industry. But this time, I’m not sure. It’s not like we have a ton of overvalued stocks out there in the web world, like we did in the late 90s, but….I’m still uneasy about where this might go. Are you?

Humor Becomes Them

By - February 26, 2007 is a shopping search engine (previous coverage here). They rent space in an office complex that is now owned by…wait for it….Google. Their sense of humor was not appreciated by the new landlords, apparently…Overlord Small