Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Why is YouTube Omnipresent? The Interface?

I've been struggling with why YouTube is so highly ranked and so well covered by journalists. Here's a theory by Jesse Shannon, president of SAJE Media. In her recent MediaPost article, Jesse maintains it's the interface that makes it so popular. Some of her thoughts:
>>>"How did start-up YouTube manage to get so big, so fast, and why was it successful where other big players were not? It's the interface, stupid!
>>>While the technological and bandwidth barriers to getting video online easily have only just recently ebbed away, YouTube managed to be the first to take advantage of this new opportunity in a way that, quite simply, works. From the beginning, YouTube's main interface, aside from a growing list of minor improvements and additions, has remained structurally unchanged since its inception.
>>>Much like Flickr, YouTube has tapped into the wisdom of crowds to help it select and filter what users should see, while still catering to a multitude of interests.

Okay- I would have called this blog YouTubeBeration if I thought YouTube had a sustainable competitive advantage. While I keep arguing it will be Napsterized, it's becoming painfully clear to me that it's not going to evaporate overnight. And I think Revver has got a model that will win over content creators and, as a result, eyeballs.

That said, Jesse's right about interface. You can't become a destination without better viewing and community-sharing features, and YouTube has Revver beat by a mile here. Can Revver be an intermediary without being a destination portal? Probably. But it sure would help if the site itself had some YouTubesque features... Flash, ratings, better organization, advanced tagging, more dynamic popular video sections, user-generated comments (although we have mixed emotions on that). The strategic discipline that Revver now faces is to continue to focus on its unique "creator/advertister/destination-agnostic" business model, but not starving its interface. Good interface will get eyeballs and press, and that can jump start Revver even if it doesn't want to be a portal. Revver has some interesting plans to address this, and I look forward to seeing them take life.

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At 4/19/2006 7:59 AM, Blogger idonothingallday said...

youtube also got a big jump by being one of the first (that i saw at least) to bring video into the myspace community. besides my videos that i sometimes post on myspace, i have not seen another revver video.

At 4/19/2006 5:56 PM, Blogger Marquisdejolie said...

I like the ability to communicate directly with other videomakers. I COULD do that on Revver if people weren't being so anonymous in their profiles.

I'd like to be able to ask some of these folks, "How did you do this effect?" or "Was that a Bolivian toad you were licking on the chifferauex?"

At 4/19/2006 8:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think revver wants us to reveal too much in our profiles, that's why I don't post mine. I wish it were just email and url, but they make you say where you're located, too, and other intrusive things like birthdate, if I remember correctly from my first log-in. At least, that's the bug in mine...So, I opted to have nothing up...rather than too much.

At 5/03/2006 6:55 PM, Anonymous jesse shannon said...

hey, thanks for commenting on the article. now i know about revver - never heard of it before now. i'd have to agree with idonothingallday and their comment about the myspace connection. this was huge for youtube and drove tons of traffic in their direction. then i think the community took care of the rest (as youtube makes it so damn easy to share) and critical mass was reached.

btw - i'm a he, not a she =)

At 7/16/2006 1:48 PM, Blogger Revilo said...

Why does everyone avoid the white elephnt in the room.. Copyright infringement is what drives YouTube's traffic..I mean come on..Napster 2.0 here people...


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