Mar 05

Travels and ad videos

I’m off to SXSW tomorrow, to have fun, to do a little speaking and to take some videos. I’ve decided to do a wee video series, asking people what their favourite marketing campaign is at the moment. I’ve been using qik on the N95, which I won’t be able to use in the US, so probably moving the stuff to blip for that – in fact, I’ve used Blip to do this embed.

Fist up is Jo, who describes her faves. You’ll have to ignore the starts of the videos – I’m sure I’ll learn to edit soon!

Then lloyd, who tries but fails to think of any favourites.

Sep 03

The best games console

I spend time in Chris Pirillo’s chatroom and one of the endless topics of coversation is which game console is better – PS3 or XBox360.  It always seems to be a 2 sided debate between those, with Wii only entering rarely.  I’m just thankful that Apple do not make a console.  However, I think this video from The Escapist sums up the argument better than anything I’ve seen to date.  

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Jul 26

New uStream Interface

The new uStream interface was launched yesterday and has a few new toys. It allows you to ‘clap’ the presenter, with a rating meeting – the more people who click the higher your rating. But most interesting to me is the instant poll – the stream owner can create instant polls and get a response from their audience. That immediate interaction is fun. As far as I can see there are no further changes from a viewer POV in the palyer, except it looks more shiny and curvy 😉

uStream player

Jun 20

Veoh TV

Last week I got a sneak preview of Veoh’s new service,, but got asked not to blog about it. The news has now broken and there’s a few detailed write ups around. Erick Schonfeld has a great overview,

VeohTV is an application that you download to your PC. It lets you watch any video, not just on Veoh, but anywhere on the Web—whether it’s on,, YouTube, or (but not Joost, which does not show videos on its Website). It turns the hodgepodge of video on the Web into something that looks remarkably like TV by gathering all of it into a remote-controllable experience you can watch from ten feet away

Phil Butler looks at the features and contemplates the revenue drivers

Joost content is obviously excellent and the quality of broadcasts there is very stable, which illuminates one of VeohTV’s only real weaknesses – the system is dependent on the quality of sometimes less than excellent online video. This is not problematic with content from NBC or other major networks, but the user’s “hands on” filtering will determine a quality library. The ads were a major concern of mine and I found Joost to be an early leader in upscale and unobtrusive advertising. Dmitry reflected a rather perfect logic in response to this concern, in that VeohTV will be able to target ads that will be relevant to individual users and therefore inherently less obtrusive.

and Mike Arrington has a business round up.

Will it work? It certainly might. I’ll have to wait and try out the software first. But the vision is solid. This avoids the time and cost of doing licensing deals with content owners. Like Real’s new player that allows users to basically bookmark and locally store video, it assumes that video will continue to be widely distributed across the Internet. Whoever creates the best interface for the content will win users, and liquidity events.

What did I like about it?

  • The interface was intuitive, smooth to use and very close to the Tivo model. I liked it better than the Joost model.
  • Loved the way you can pull everything together into your own channels
  • From an advertisers perspective, the channels and what you can do around them offer some great opportunities, better targetting and , hopefully, a way of advertising that is not too intrusive but could be useful.
  • The search function. Cool. Very, very cool. Pulls stuff from all over and let’s you line it all up to watch.

Look out for a lot more online buzz around this once the beta starts rolling out.

Jun 19


On June 12, Flickr introduced localisation – that is local language and country versions – of their site in 7 different flavours. These were French, Germany, Italian, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Traditional Chinese. In what appears to be a consequence to this extension, they also ran up against local laws (or interpretation of laws) that meant users in Germany, Hong Kong, Korea and Singapore were restricted to safe search only, resulting in a storm of comment (most vocally from Germany) accusing Flickr of censorship.

And now YouTube have announced their localisation, with an extension into 9 more domains. As more than half their users are outside the US, it’s probably about time.

Today at a Google press event in Paris, Chad Hurley and Steve Chen are announcing the launch of nine new domains in Brazil, France, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Ireland, and the UK.

All of the language has been translated (and the UK/IE versions are different to the US – they’ve corrected the spelling!) and all are on new URLs. They have not touched the countries/languages that have given so much trouble for Flickr and have some interesting gaps. There also seems to be less advertising (currently) on the local sites; however, local content distribution deals have been done in these markets to add to the ‘professional’ content on the site which will be a revenue stream and I’m sure advertising will catch up.

What I can’t seem to find out is whether uploading to one version makes your video available to the other versions. The home pages are localised as to content – they are the result of an editorial decision. The browsing and listing pages are also localised, there are different in different markets. Looking at the honour listings for some of the video it looks like the US version has been set to the global resource and then each market has it’s own honour listings. Which seems to mean that whilst I can tell how a video would be doing in somewhere like the UK, I can’t easily pull out the US figures. Does this mean all the video ranking sites are going to be changing their results over the next few weeks?

Apr 20

Video connections

I spent a fair bit of last night (when I wasn’t travelling back to work because I’d left my keys there) watching live video streams. The first was from Chris Pirillo; tuning into Chris I found him talking to Kosso, whom I mentioned in an earlier post. Sharing the broadcast with Chris was Eric Rice and he was later joined by Ben Metcalfe. With 2 laptops set up, I could have the video in one place and the chat and other browsers open in the other so I could multitask and it came closer to tv type entertainment, in the background until something interesting happening.

Over the course of the evening, there around 120 people in the chat, on average (I think). Many of these had come from various forums and sites or from the front page of ustream and were asking the questions about why this was being done, why people were watching it etc. I know why I was watching it – I read the blogs of Chris and Eric and I know Kosso and Ben in person. I was also trying to get my head round the service and see how if it could be used at work. By making it easy to set up and stream, from a mobile situation, it opens up the possibilities to allow direct connection with users of a brand. So far, these are what immediately spring to mind.

  • Straightforward sponsorship. For someone with a following in the right demographic, sponsoring their costs is a good way of connecting with that demo, in an unobtrusive way.
  • Adding it onto an event. If a brand is running some kind of event, then it can be extended out to the web to increase the audience. Live streaming and feedback to the people on camera through the chat. Even if only a couple of hundred (there are scaling issues at the moment) they are likely to be early adopters and ‘sneezers’, spreading the word. Capturing the live feed and posting it later also increases the spread.
  • You could take this slightly further and add the feed into banner ads. More disruptive but able to spread to a wider interested audience but may be prevented by the scaling issues
  • Supplementing a chat. One of the brand I work on already runs chats a few times a year; adding video to this would increase the value and the engagement as the attendees get to see the hosts.

There’s bound to be more once I get my head around it more. This is not currently mass media, but for offering a direct and immediate connection between a brand and its fans, it could be perfect.

Apr 19

The spread of the machine is us/ing us

If you read tech blogs regularly, you’ll have seen this video:

A sublime introduction to how the web is changing. Sue Thomas, a wonderful woman I bumped into a Blogher, has a post about her experience at the Web2.0 conference, where she met up with Mike Wesch who explained how it spread:

Wesch explained that he had made the video to accompany an academic journal paper, and sent it to two techies and eight anthropology colleagues to check out whether it worked – something we’ve all done lots of times. One of the anthropologists posted it on a blog with three users (according to Wesch) and within no time at all he had collected 100 views on YouTube. He was incredibly excited. When it hit 253 views he was so proud he told his Department Head. The next day he woke up to find himself featured on his own DIGG front page. Then he got 450 Diggs. That weekend he and his wife stayed up late watching the numbers rise. On 2 Feb his video went to the top 5 on youtube and stayed there for 3 weeks, dislodging even Superbowl adverts. Within a week of posting it was on 6000 blogs according to Technorati, and after a week mentions of it began to appear in newsprint. After another week, it had appeared in papers in every continent around the globe.

Apr 17

Kosso on Ustream

We’ve had and now the Podtech guys Robert Scoble and Jeremiah Owyang are walking around Web2.0 with their live streaming on Ustream, which is a great way to see the some of the conference without having to do the travel. And Ustream is open for all to stream their life to the web. Kosso, who has previously streamed his audio and music collection, has now added the video to the mix, so I can listen to his music and a surreal one-sided conversation as he talks back to people on the IRC or just rants in general.

Kosso on ustream

Apr 11

Urban Planning in Second Life

I love the concept that a Paris residents association is asking members to propose a new design for the redesign of a central part of the city.

The association is urging locals to come up with their own ideas for the area’s gardens and post them in the online world of Second Life, where people create virtual doubles of themselves called avatars. Accomplir will shortlist five of the best projects, which will then be displayed on an island in Second Life.

How many entries do they think they will get? How many people can do such design? If you want to see one in action, take a look at this superb video from Lordfly Digeridoo who planned and built a site for a college requirement.

Apr 03

Vidmeter Report on Copyrighted videos

Vidmeter, a company I have written about before have produced an excellent analysis of videos removed by copyright owners from YouTube. The report can be found on their News page. In just over 3 months, they tracked the top viewed videos on the site, totaling 6,725 videos. Of these, they found that on 621 videos had been removed, only 6% of the total. Of those, 72 were from Viacom, only just over 2%.

Considering Viacom, seem to think that YouTube was built on the back of their content, these numbers don’t appear to reflect that belief, given the small percentage of successful videos that were found. Now, there may be a lot more on there than that number shows, but these are the top rated videos, the ones watched by the greatest numbers, so definitely fall into Viacom’s belief structure of driving success. Given that Viacom sub-companies appear to use YouTube on their blogs and display copyrighted content, how is their lawsuit looking?

Mar 27 – Voyeurism to the extreme is the latest attempt to show a life on camera. Whereas before the webcams were tied to the PC, tied to the line but digital and mobile prices have dropped enough to make this a viable option. 24 hours a day, Justin wears a camera on his hat and streams his life to the world.

This is pushing the boundaries; Justin has said he will wear the camera thoughout the day, whatever he is doing. To help in the viewer ratings, this includes dates and what potentially comes after (although not sure if he can do that, what with the various laws about data retention). It’s ‘fun’ to watch, in a weird way. I;ve said that Twitter is fascinating for the gossip reasons; this takes that idea far further.

But one unfortunate result, given the blog conversations over the last day, is some of the commentary that takes place in the live chat; comments about Justin’s sexuality,the people he sees. The women he sees and interacts with. has been praised by the usually early adopters. When they are watching it, I’d like to see them in the chat standing up and guiding the conversation to a place less derogatory, when it slips too far.

Mar 22

NBC and News Corp announce deal

Read the press release. The content companies are joining up with AOL, MSN, MySpace And Yahoo! to provide premuim video content – does this mean DRMd and subscription?

“This is a game changer for Internet video,” said Peter Chernin, President
and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation. “We’ll have access to just
about the entire U.S. Internet audience at launch. And for the first time,
consumers will get what they want — professionally produced video delivered
on the sites where they live. We’re excited about the potential for this
alliance and we’re looking forward to working with any content provider or
distributor who wants to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.”

“Anyone who believes in the value of ubiquitous distribution will find this
announcement incredibly exciting,” said Jeff Zucker, President and CEO of
NBC Universal. “This venture supercharges our distribution of protected,
quality content to fans everywhere. Consumers get a hugely attractive
aggregation of a wide range of content, and marketers get a novel way to
connect with a large and highly engaged audience.”

I love that they think that they are providing what the user wants, as if they are the only ones, as if the web goes to YouTube for their health and not to watch great content. The release is full of PR speak – do these guys really talk like that? And if they do, please let me never meet them, with their borgified market speak they sound quite boring. Would I use the service – yes, if it gives me the content I want at the place and time I want and is not over encumbered my advertising as they try and squeeze every single drop of money from everywhere they can.

This is not about the consumer getting what they want; this is about dinosaur media companies being dragged licking and screaming into an web reality. The consumer is already taking your programmes, you are only just know getting onto the bandwagon. No doubt the content will be good, they will get viewers – there is a tendency for most people to do what is ‘right’. But be real with your vain announcements – remember, we’re all talking about you, how about answering back in a human voice occasionally.

Mar 16

Video Popularity – Views or Links

Update: I’ve updated this post with further comments from Bri at Holt Labs

For a while now, I’ve been using a couple of video tracking sites for work-related reasons, both to see what is popular and to track some of our own videos. The two systems use different tracking methods, one is on views and the other is on links. Both have their place when understanding the popularity of the videos from a marketing perspective. I’ve blogged about them before (and have been tested their services), but here’s a comparison, plus a look at why you should use both methods.

The first is is VidMeter, from San Diego based Holt Labs, a company that seems to consistently produce interesting systems.
Key elements from their general service are:

  • Top 100 videos, based on views across 13 networks
  • For each video provides total views, views per network, traffic history
  • RSS feeds for most viewed of all time and most viewed per day.
  • Widget to add to your blog/site to provide updating lists of the popular videos.

In addition, they also provide a tracker service for you to sign up and track your own videos. We’ve been using this in the office for a few weeks to track some brand videos we have out in the wild, and it makes a difference in making everything a lot easier when you’re reporting. The tracker service also tracks links to your video, so you can tell who is linking to your videos. Holt Labs are busy adding even more services to their offering, everything aimed at making it easier for agencies to understand what is happening with their content.

The second one is the Viral Video Charts, from London based Unruly Media. This system rates the videos on inbound links.

  • It details where the video was found and how many links are being made to the site
  • Embed code to add video to won site
  • popular videos by categories
  • RSS feeds for Top 10 daily
  • Widget for your blog for top 10 (now moved from sidebar of this blog, but added in post)

The Viral Chart also accepts advertising, providing sponsored video links and blurb.

But the 2 charts give completely different results; as it stands at the moment there are no videos in common between the two of them. So as a content producer which metric should you use. In my opinion, both. Both methods give you a different insight into how your content is spreading. I asked the 2 teams why they had chosen their methods.

Bri from HoltLabs

“Ranking videos by links is good method for determining what the “blogosphere likes” and it’s usually cited on as a method for finding “good” video. Those sites are also competing with the “social video links” sites which allow users to vote on what videos are “good… Vidmeter’s goal is different. [from either link or voting sites] We’re trying to provide the most objective analytics possible about a video’s traffic and in doing that we’re able to determine what the most viewed videos of the day are. We don’t claim that these videos are “good,” but we do know that they are hot.

Scott from Unruly Media

We measure linkage and embedding in preference to views because views can just be bought or, worse, easily faked. For instance, you only need 30-50,000 views in a day to make one of YouTube’s most viewed pages or to make Vidmeter’s top 50. And we know agencies routinely fake out that many views as part of their seeding strategy….there are lots of smaller specialist shops doing viral work and it’s pretty wild west. We want to track social acts of recommendation and to find out which pieces of content are inherently viral and therefore likely to achieve high numbers of views regardless of campaign budgets or black hat techniques. We think measuring linkage and embedding is a good way of doing this. It’s still subject to spam, gaming and other forms of abuse, of course, but we find that pretty easy to detect at the moment. I’m not wanting to big up our method. It’s simply a question of what you want to find out.

Ultimately, our interest is in helping agencies to identify strongly mimetic strains of content and to map out the the routes via which specific strains of content are typically diffused. Put commercially, to provide planning and evaluation tools and to offer bespoke research and consultancy.

We added three new video sites to our roster last month – Metacafe, Dailymotion and – in addition to YouTube, MySpace and Google. To be perfectly honest, the incentive to track other video sites is not particularly strong. For instance, in February we saw 700 blog posts embedding or linking to videos. And 500,000 blog posts embedding or linking to YouTube videos. Linkage is much more skewed towards YouTube than viewing data!

So, as a marketer, how do you read these numbers? The views is very easy to explain to a client – how many people have watched their content , usually to the end. It’s easy to explain, it’s directly analogous to metrics they are used to when it comes to print or TV (ignoring the accuracy of those systems), it’s a metric that can be used across all the video distributors. It’s also more the default mode of exploration on the web. That is what YouTube and the other sites have bought, easy entertainment along a broadband pipe. Point and click, no technology knowledge required at all beyond being able to type youtube in a search box*. (something that Joost and other distribution clients need to think about). It can be gamed, and gamed easily. As a client, I hope you would never find an agency that would do that. As Bri says, raw numbers give an indication of who has seen the content.

On the other hand, if you know your audience is relatively tech-savvy, likely to have their own web pages (and I’m not talking MySpace) then links is another measure that is useful. It’s a percentage of those who watch you can take the content – and not all sites allow you to do that anyway. Linkage and embedding is a strong indicator of whether people loved your video enough to do something about it and want to share it with their readers. The choice of linking reflects on their online brand, what is in it for them- I can go and watch all the trash I like with no consequence but when I embed or link then I express something about myself that reflects on how I like to be portrayed. So linking is a reflection of this as well as engagement with the content.

So using both measures, (along with comment numbers) gives you different levels of engagement. Use them all to express the success of distributed content. If looking at 2 videos on a site with a similar view count but different link numbers, i would tend to regard the higher linked one as a better success.

And the two services? Vidmeter allows a DIY approach, giving you the numbers but look to be building out a commercial offer with more information as well. Unruly Media provide the top numbers and a commercial and consultancy service to help improve your content. Use as required!

Update: Further comments from Bri from Holt labs:

We do take the issue of “faking” views seriously, but it hasn’t been a problem. In order to register a view on YouTube, a view must come from a unique IP address. Knowing that, there are 3 ways to quickly register views:

1. Placing the embedded player on a website. Since registering views in this way still requires that unique eyeballs are watching it, we think this is fair. From your perspective as a marketer, you WANT to know if the video you embedded on a site is getting played.

2. Buying traffic. Through various ways a person can send lots of people to a YouTube page, however this still requires that unique people see the video so we also treat this as fair game. From your perspective as a marketer, you WANT to see if the traffic you bought actually watched the video so you want to know this.

3. Putting a hidden iframe to a YouTube page on another website. This method would surreptitiously allow a website with a lot of traffic to add a large number of views to a YouTube video without having people actually watch it. We consider this cheating, however there are three obstructions that prevent this:
a. A cheater needs to fake at least 70,000 views to get on the Vidmeter home page.
b. We have TWO HUMAN DATA ANALYSTS who scan the list daily to look for this
c. As you stated in the post, this isn’t relevant when tracking your own videos because you aren’t going to fake your own traffic.

In the event that a person cheats 1,000 views and then gets listed on YouTube’s most-viewed to receive 60,000 additional real views (as the case with “Spiders on Drugs”) we actually consider the 60,000 legitimate views as 60,000 people did actually watch it.

The proof that faking is not an issue is on our site. Thus far, no one has been able to point to a video that faked it’s way to the top. All the top YouTube videos are either from major providers, featured, or blogged about.

Also, I think it would be fair to note that blog links can be faked as well. The same way that SEOers would create fake sites with links to their own in order to “Googlebomb” and increase their page rank, a person could easily create multiple fake blogs and embed their videos in.

Bri makes some good points about how video views can be skewed and what they do to prevent that on the charts. However, i still feel that there is the possibility for some unscrupulous agencies to skew the results to present them to their clients – they do not refer to the charts at all, just to the video site with the view counter. This is in the same way that there are SEO agencies, buzz agencies and all other kinds of advertising agencies may do things to promote positive results. Look at Henriette’s comment for some examples of what is being done.

*that’s my default assumption of how the average person finds sites these days, after watching relatives. No need to know what the address bar is, just where the search box is and you type the URL.

Mar 11

SXSW – LonelyGirl15 discussion

David Hudson Editor, GreenCine
Miles Beckett Producer, Lonelygirl15
Mesh Flinders Producer, Lonelygirl15
Greg Goodfried Producer, Lonelygirl15

Miles: a short format, about 5 videos a week. a popular serial drama.

Greg: there’s the top level show; then there is the interactive element, teaching the characters as real people. you can send private messages and we answer you back (my wife does that); you can text comments. they can make their own videos and interact with characters. we know the big plot points but there is a lot a smaller things that we use feedback on. eg bree giving a piece offering to Daniel after 1000s of emails back. (video: piece offering Aug 21 2006) got 650k views on YT. over course of week 1.5m-2m collective views per video.

Miles: that video was representative of what LG was. cheap video cam and bad mike.

David – can we back up and give a talk about the idea..

Miles: I was a plastic surgeon internship; saw rise of video on web. started own company to make content; on YT all the time, saw there was an audience there. wanted to create videoblogger, did story with mystery element. had idea in feb or so. met Mesh at party, shared idea and went from there.

Mesh – wanted to be a filmmaker; did internships etc. won panavision new filmmakers award, but still living hand to mouth, making ends make. about a year ago got hired to write first paid screenplay. when i heard the idea the first thing I thought about was Wells and War of the World, using new tech to tell a story. a cool way to make movies. we’ll do it for a few months, generate buzz and we will make a film about it. and that was kind of naive.

Greg – I’m a lawyer. met Miles in feb 06 when he was starting his company. Miles told me his idea; after hashing out the idea they asked me if they could be sued. he advised probably not, but yes shot. advice was don;t try and sell nor ask for money. he came onboard. we got together and did the show.

Miles: we thought it was good idea, if we could get a good story and actors then people would want to watch. we did not know the audience at the time as it was still techy and we did not know if the the reveal would drive away audience. we have a rabid fanbase, 30-50k people to day of people obsessed. when it revealed it was fictional, we gained a huge audience. some went away. we have 70% female, 14-40, cluster in mid 20s. I saw it as an opportunity for entertainment and tech. we have continued this and made it more elaborate. video 2 is Feb 10, 07. shows change in how it was a girl in bedroom and is now a more deeper, richer show, outside the bedroom. far more mystery. bree had to leave due to parents being part of The Order. we massively ramped up the plot. we realised we had to tell a far more compelling story. instead of the movie, we do it on the web. we shoot everything as if it is real, everything is shot as a character.

Greg: a character we had in London, we had to do everything in Uk time, we were loading video at 3am in morning to fit into character.

Miles: we see the video as being the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the experience. they are 2 minutes..but people spend a lot of time.

Greg – we do ARG elements, we do puzzles, the community join in to answer the puzzles, ie opening a flash file, with a riddle. feed across the video, and site. We weave in UGC. we show fan videos on site. people create themselves as characters. we invite them to tell stories. (showed UGC, which is driving an ARG etc)

Q: what kind of interaction are yu seeing around UGC?

Miles: there is not a lot of functionality around the UGC on site. You load stuff as a response and it is not that easy to follow a persons content. we are doing a rebuild which makes it easier to admin your own storylines, vote etc. we have discussion in forum and chatroom, wiki.

Q: how do you pay for it?

Miles: i was working 3-5 days a week on clinics, but slowly reducing hours. got money from parents to pay actors so did not have to work (and be recognised). we were running out of money through fall, we got some fan donations, we have some investment now which helps and we are goign to an advertising model, and there is going to be product placement. there are post roll videos etc

Greg: it makes sense for them to use real products as they are set up as real people. it is a natural fit to have product placement. we can have access to brands for arg elements, partnerships etc to build real world elements.

Q: where are you distributing. where are you trying to go?

Greg – still YT and website. we are trying to build out a syndication model, which are open to monetisation. we want to drive people back to site as where all the functionality is.

Miles: the video only will be on the other site; the rest of the show and the deeper stuff is on our site. we are using tech features as part of the narrative. we had 35k people hit our chartroom the first time..we had about 20 rooms open the first time and people were relaying etc. people talked to the characters. We introduced Jonas as a fan and people debated if it was a show part etc.

Q: production values?

MIles: you can do a lot with time. we started with a desk lamp and a window; people debated whether or not we were real at the beginning cos of the lighting but it was just a lot of time. we shot from the character pov..depends on what kind of camera they would have.

Q: did you become famous?

Miles: we are represented by CAA (?)
Mesh – I’m using LG to write my own feature this year. we are developing film. still at early stages. we’ve only just got time to start thinking outside of LG. the first 6 months were a blur and 24/7.

Q: are you where you wanted to be?

Miles: this is exactly it. this is my dream. tech and film.. this is perfect we are in a good position right now, we have access to the traditional channels. after the announcement we did a tour of the Hollywood stuff. we got some offers, but turned them down. we really want to do internet and interactive and most people we talked to did not get it. we did not want things being an issues. we found people who wanted to share vision and invest.

Mesh: the technology is a door opener for people who did not have the money or knowledge to make these before. people can do it with a web cam and your little brother. we are only just realising what the possibilities are.

Q: did you guys participate in Lost ARG…any ideas from this?

Greg: i did not know what an ARG was 4 months. Now, they are really cool. we attracted the ARG community who thought we were making an ARG, and they started investigating us. a month after the first video, people started selling stuff. we trademarked it. people found it, under his dads address. they started to dig in. they ‘stalked’ the family. we wanted to control press for reveal. the community was passionate but we had to point them away from us. we are going to do more arg stuff. live appearances are in the future, it;s a resource issue. we write, shoot, edit, so the more elaborate stuff we are waiting so we can do it right.

Q: can you express your creativity more now the cat is out the bag?

MIles: the initial thought was to create fictional video blogger I did not know how much they would think about it; I did not realise how much people would dig. as the press got more and more intense it was incredible stressful.. we did not know what the reaction would be, we anted to be cool not fool people. once out of the bag it was liberating,

Greg: we now have more freedom and they are not analysing everything. they got a botanist to look at plants, they analysed where we bought things from. we want to wrap our arms round these people as they will stay, they invested in in

Q: what was the backlash?

MIles there was a little backlash for far less than expected. people seemed to know it was fake all along. it got far more in depth. the vast majority knoew it was not real but were suspending disbelief.

Greg: the numbers are larger now, so people are still in it. we made a decision to answer all the questions to Bree, but answered none of the ones to the producers/actors. People are talking about it as a tv show now, not a web hoax.

Q: how are you handling the ‘fame’ between the 3 of you, the actors etc

Greg: we are closer now then before. Miles add I want to stay in the space, Mesh looking for other stuff. we can do a lot in a short time and then let people do other stuff. Jessica is under contract and is getting work, jessica just shot a film in Feb so we shot everything in Dec.

Miles: it was an emotional rollercoaster. a t times we loved at times we hated.

Mesh: we could not talk about this to any one except with each other. we could only share with each other. i could not talk to my girlfriend (and we broke up) this was a big risk and it paid off in spades. we are best friends now.

Miles: we are uploading a video live. we are running on wordpress…and here’s us loading live.

10 seconds later..there were 2 responses. all going First! it goes from firsts, to discussion, then just general chat, then it goes for chants for new videos.

MIles: we post randomly. they live on our website. we have email, we have an rss feed. none of us are programmers,

Q: how did yo get publicity to start?

Miles: we used YT social network. we had created character on site and talked and commented in character for a few weeks. then we did a few responses to popular people. when we put the first one up, we already had a few 100 people. subscribed. we were active on commenting, adding friends. this was part of the story telling. after that, were these videos good.

Greg: we are getting hired to do this now for other people.

Q: you are turning down deals etc, you are monetising..are you running into problems with cpm etc.

Greg: we are feeling out the model as we go. it;s work in progress

Miles: the web model is different to tv…cpm on tv depends on quality. that model is startign to apply to us, advertisers prefer to be on lg15 and will pay it.

And that was that…

Mar 02

BBC on YouTube

You can find clips from BBC shows on YouTube, fans putting them up to share the love. And now the BBC has done a deal with Google/YouTube to create three new channels dedicated to the corporation’s output.

  • BBC – showing added value programming, ie the behind the scenes stuff that goes on the websites. This is advertising free
  • BBC Worldwide – clips from programmes, carrying advertising in which the BBC will have a revenue share. This is the same model for the rest of the BBC worldwide programmes, which are not funded from the licence fee and carry ads. However, in this case, the channel also appears to be open to the UK
  • BBC News – news clips, also advertising funded but this time not accessible to the UK

I’m glad they are stepping up and doing this and think the BBC Worldwide decision, allowing access from the UK, is a pragmatic one. Especially if they show the clips on the BBC sites as well – the US networks have seen some uplift in viewers after putting clips on the service.. But I found the comment from Ashley Highfield ingenious, given the zealousness with which they have been acting to take down the recent Top Gear clips I’ve linked to.

Mr Highfield said the BBC would not be hunting down all BBC-copyrighted clips already uploaded by YouTube members – although it would reserve the right to swap poor quality clips with the real thing, or to have content removed that infringed other people’s copyright, like sport, or that had been edited or altered in a way that would damage the BBC’s brand.

“We don’t want to be overzealous, a lot of the material on YouTube is good promotional content for us,” he said.

Feb 27

Viral Video Chart Widget

Getting bored at work. Looking for a few minutes of entertainment. If your poison is videos you can now get charts delivered directly your website using this handy little widget from the Viral Video Chart and you can share the list with all your friends. It’s currently running in the sidebar of this blog as a test and it’s quite handy as a way to go quickly to sites.

And if you want a different top 10, then Vidmeter also offers a widget.

The 2 sites are obviously starting from a different baseline to deliver you these results, with the Viral Video site working on daily links and Vidmeter working on daily views. I think I’m going to do some more digging into these.

Feb 15

Valentine Blues

If you hate the day, love the day but failed to have a good time, or just like random violence and things going bang, take a look at this wonderful My Black Valentine, (tip from YesButNoButYes).

My Black Valentine

Choose your object of hate, click and watch as a bullet smashes through it, destroying the whole thing.

Can you imagine the logistics for this shoot – all the stuff and just getting to blow them to smithereens. Think that is one I would have liked to have been on.