If you are nostalgic for the dot com Super Bowl ads circa 2000, you might want to check out the SuperDotComAds from Meebo, Technorati, and others on YouTube.
Where will I be this weekend instead of watching the Super Bowl? With all of the other geeks at RecentChangesCamp, of course! I just Tivo the game to watch the commercials anyway.
RecentChangesCamp is free, and it runs from Friday morning through Sunday afternoon in Portland. If you are in the area, you should check it out. Proposed topics include wikis, collaboration, identity / OpenID, and more!
Like everyone else, I heard the rumors, and I was skeptical. Acquisition rumors usually turn out to be exactly that … just rumors with talks falling through at the last minute or casual talks between companies spawning rumors of impending acquisitions; however, in this case, the rumors were accurate.
From the Google Press Release:
Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) announced today that it has agreed to acquire YouTube, the consumer media company for people to watch and share original videos through a Web experience, for $1.65 billion in a stock-for-stock transaction. Following the acquisition, YouTube will operate independently to preserve its successful brand and passionate community.
On the one hand, this is a risky move for Google. The copyright issues within YouTube content could escalate now that companies could sue with the hope of making money by tapping into the deeper pockets of Google. On the other hand, Google has never been afraid of a few copyright skirmishes (the book searches and Google news come to mind as a couple of examples), and Google can usually find a creative way to make even very difficult situations work for everyone involved. I will be curious to see what happens.
Marco Rosella has an interesting idea about how companies can promote their exit strategies at the upcoming Web 2.0 Conference … (Note – this is meant to be humorous):
“The success of a new service, if really demonstrated itself different from all the others, however could decree the end: where there’s a lack of Venture Capitals and/or the ads are to cover the band costs, naturally proportional to the traffic, the only reason of survival remains the sell to a big company.
As we know by now, Web 2.0 web application’s interfaces have their peculiar style defined by reflections, fades, drop-shadows, strong colors, rounded corners and star badges, these standing out in the header of every homepage.
Badges are the key element of this kind of design, being the first to flash user eyes, and so extremely important for the right communication of a message with fundamental importance.
Below you’ll find some example badges, arranged in four incremental levels, each one related to a different business model.” (Quote from Central Scrutinizer)
This is a humorous way to portray the current environment; however, it highlights a serious issue facing web 2.0 companies. With so many new web 2.0 companies, it becomes difficult to stand out in the crowd. Not all of them are looking to rise above the crowd in order to exit the business, but even getting mindshare with users can be difficult. Those that succeed in growing a large user base tend to do so virally, YouTube / MySpace / del.icio.us / etc., which is difficult to predict. Web 2.0 companies will need to focus on finding ways to get attention. Maybe the acquire me badges are not such a bad idea 🙂
There has been quite a controversy brewing in the viral world of YouTube recently. I won’t bother to rehash the summary, since Danah Boyd did a fantastic job of outlining the events leading up to the discovery that LonelyGirl15 was the creation of a group of filmmakers, and not a lonely, young teenager making videos in her bedroom.
Today, Silicon Valley Watcher has identified LonelyGirl15 as Jessica Rose, a 19-year old New Zealand actress.
I think we have a match!
Thanks to Google cache, unless you were dropped into the online world out of thin air, your past can never be completely erased. A little scary, perhaps, but it reminds us to be a little cautious of how much we share online knowing that someone, somewhere, can unearth our online past.
YouTube looks like it is finding a way to generate revenue from their large user base:
Beginning Tuesday, YouTube will roll out its first Brand Channel, where Warner Bros. Records will promote Paris Hilton’s debut album, “Paris.”
Brand Channels are much like the channels created for all YouTube users who upload their homemade videos to the site, though the purpose of a Brand Channel is to sell a product rather than to simply promote one’s ability to attract an audience for their work.
YouTube will help drive traffic to the Brand Channels it sells, and the channels might have sponsors, as is the case with the Paris Hilton Channel, sponsored by Fox’s “Prison Break.” (Quote from Washington Post)
Marshall Kirkpatrick from TechCrunch weighs in to say:
YouTube reportedly pays more than $1 million each month in bandwidth costs and some people have been concerned that it would be a challenge to turn its huge traffic into money. Thus Paris Hilton to the rescue. (Quote from TechCrunch)
Overall, I think that this is an unobtrusive way to generate revenue without jeopardizing the user experience. With any luck, YouTube can make enough money off of this effort (and similar efforts) to pay for the increasing bandwidth costs that come with being a popular video site.