Archive for November, 2007

Online video stats for September 07

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Comscore logo
I just saw that ComScore has released statistics for online video usage for September 2007. The following are the most interesting stats:

– 75% of U.S. Internet users watched a video online, averaging three hours of video per person during the month.

– Nearly 2 out of 5 U.S. Internet users watched a YouTube video during the same time period.

– The average online video duration was 2.7 minutes.

– The average viewer consumed 68 videos, more than two per day.

This last number seems really high to me. If you take the average video duration and the average number of videos per month, this means that the average U.S. Internet user is watching just over three hours of online videos per month.

This is still nothing compared to the television watching habits of the average American, however, who watches 4 hours and 34 minutes of TV per day, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Recommended reading: Online video blogs

Friday, November 30th, 2007

One of the best ways to stay up-to-date about any online or Internet technology is to read the blogs written by the people who are the absolute experts in the field. The following are some of my favorite

Online video blogs

The Business of Online Video- From StreamingMedia.com and written by Dan Rayburn, the company’s executive vice president, “the business behind the technology of online video.”

Online Video Insider- From MediaPost, co-written by six guys from the industry, “The inside line on Internet content and advertising.”

NewTeeVee’s Online Video- The NewTeeVee blog, part of the GigaOm network, has an Online Video category.

Inside Online Video- “A look at the fast rising online video industry,” written by Mike Abundo for b5 media.

WillVideoForFood.com- Written by Kevin Nalts, a “self-proclaimed viral video genius,” covering “the fun and profit of online video.”

Scobleizer- Written by ubiquitous smart guy Robert Scoble, his blog isn’t specifically about online video, but he makes a lot of videos and talks about video quite a bit – and it’s a must-read for anyone who follows the Internet, anyway, so add it to your RSS reader.

The YouTube digital camera

Friday, November 30th, 2007

When I was browsing the advertisements in this weekend’s paper trying to get some inspiration about what to buy the people on my Christmas list, I spotted this in the ads from Best Buy:

YouTube Digital Camera

I did a bit of hunting online, and it appears that this line of YouTube-ready digital cameras has been out for some time (available since August 07 in the U.S.), but I have to admit that this is the first time that I have seen them.

This positioning strikes me as being a little bit of marketing genius from Casio. There are at least 65,000 videosposted to YouTube per day, and eight hours of new video posted per minute – so there are a large group of power users out there who would love a camera that is set up to make it easier to send their videos to YouTube. That is, if the cameras are any good.

Here’s a roundup of some of the reviews that I found online:

Digital Camera Review- “The other feature worth noting here is that the V8 includes Casio’s YouTube Best Shot movie capture mode. In this mode, movies are captured at settings optimized for publishing on YouTube. Movies captured this way are also placed in a separate folder on your camera’s memory card so that the supplied YouTube Uploader software can easily find the movies. This software, provided by Casio allows you to upload multiple movies directly to your YouTube account.”

PC World- “The cameras are the result of a deal between Casio and Google, which owns YouTube, that gives Casio exclusive rights to the YouTube features until the end of this year.” 

“While it’s not particularly difficult to upload clips manually to YouTube, the software certainly makes it much easier, especially if you have several clips to put online.”

Becky Worley’s Vlog – “You want a digital camera, and you want to be the next YouTube celebrity. Have I got the camera for you.”

About.com- “You won’t shoot the most dazzling images every time, but this camera provides powerful features for the money. As with other cameras in the Casio Exilim Zoom line, this camera makes it exceedingly easy for even beginners to capture great images.”

Laptop Magazine – “An impressive set of features makes this digital camera well worth the price.”

“YouTube fanatics will enjoy the convenience of filming video that’s ready for the Web with no editing at all. In fact, it might even lure some first-timers to the video-sharing site.”

GeekSugar- “These new digital cameras not only come with the YouTube uploader that accesses your clips from a flash card to the web, but they also have auto-tracking face detection technology, image stabilization for movie mode and anti-shake blur reduction.”

I didn’t come across a single negative review of the cameras.  

How to embed a YouTube video into your WordPress blog

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

This may seem like a beginner tip to many of you long-time WordPress bloggers, but the first time that I tried to embed a YouTube video into my WordPress blog, I couldn’t figure it out. (If you don’t want the back story, just skip to the end of this post for the how to.)

Here’s what I did. I am sure that many first-time video posters can relate. I went to YouTube, found the video that I wanted to include, pulled the code from the “embed” area, switched to “code” from “visual” mode in the WordPress editor, and pasted the code. This didn’t work. It displayed an empty box where the video should be, with the broken link x. Broken image

I then proceeded to search through the WordPress manual and help forums for about an hour and still had no luck. I finally found this site, which provided me with the answer.

HOW TO EMBED A YOUTUBE VIDEO INTO YOUR WORDPRESS BLOG:

  1. Click on the “Users” link in the Admin area of your WordPress blog.
  2. If you have multiple users, click “edit” next to your profile.
  3. Turn off the “Use the visual rich editor when writing” feature.
  4. Write your post. You’ll see that the options for “visual” and “code” are gone. You can now paste the YouTube embed code into the post and it will display perfectly.

One word of caution – you can’t switch back to using the visual rich editor after you paste the YouTube code or you’ll have the same problem. You need to publish your post before switching back to the visual editor.

Just for fun, here’s a video about blogging that I found thanks to Penelope Trunk’s Brazen Careerist blog.

 

What exactly is the issue with online video?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

Go Slow SignOnline video may or may not be leading us down a path toward future Internet slowdowns, but there is no debate that the Internet’s infrastructure needs an upgrade to accommodate today’s online usage patterns and multimedia content. But what exactly are the technical issues that are causing the infrastructure problems?

The bottom line is bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data that can be passed along a communications channel in a given period of time. It is typically measured in bits per second. The hardware that is used to transport the data has a limited capacity (bandwidth), which varies depending on the technology that is being used (Ethernet vs. dial-up vs. T1 line). It is this limited bandwidth capacity that is causing concern.

Michael Kleeman explains the bandwidth issue quite well:

“The problem is that we have reached a point of disconnect between the traditional Internet’s architecture and the needs of today’s customers. The traditional Internet’s architecture was not designed, nor can it be expected to handle, the demands being placed on it. Bandwidth demand is growing rapidly, outpacing supply. It’s as if every home in America suddenly needed 10 times more water at 10 times the quality coming out of the same size faucet.

“Today, the average home uses as much bandwidth as a major office park did a few years ago. Remember when you used Internet access for just e-mail? Now, chances are you e-mail photos, download music and watch videos, often all at the same time. The bandwidth consumed by a popular YouTube video, “The Evolution of Dance,” downloaded 54 million times, equals an entire month’s worth of data network traffic in the year 2000.”

Upgrading the infrastructure to support today’s bandwidth needs is going to cost a lot of money – $55 billion more than planned, according to Nemertes Research.

“The bottleneck will be where Internet traffic goes to the home from cable companies’ coaxial cable lines and the copper wires that phone companies use for DSL,” says the research firm (by way of USA Today). To fix this issue, cable, phone and wireless providers are going to have to run new high-capacity lines and rethink the way that they are set up to serve bandwidth to their customers. Currently, most Internet providers are “devoted to sending data to users — not users sending data,” says the USA Today article. “They’ll need more capacity for the latter as more people transmit homemade music, photos and videos.”

Some more YouTube stats

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

I posted this story about online video yesterday, which included a number of stats about YouTube, but I just came across a few more today that I wanted to add to the discussion. According to Nigel Hollis at MediaPost’s Online Video Insider, who is citing stats from Jeben Berg, product marketing manager at YouTube:

– An average of eight hours of content is uploaded to YouTube every minute.
– That content comes from only 2% of the site’s user base.

Webby's 12 most influential online videos of all time

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

Webby Awards logoI just saw a pointer to this over at Boing Boing. The Webby Awards site has posted a list of the 12 most influential online videos of all time. Included are classics such as 2000’s All Your Base Are Belong To Us and JibJab’s “This Land” (Chris made me watch this one more than once). Enjoy!

Video is not going to kill the Internet in 2010

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

YouTube logoLast week, I posted my first video to YouTube. Like most videos that are uploaded to the site, mine was for friends, a silly inside joke wishing my friend Kim a happy birthday in a public and embarrassing manner.

But after posting the video – which was incredibly easy to do – I started wondering how many people have uploaded videos to YouTube since the site was founded in February 2005. It’s difficult to find stats about YouTube because the company (owned by Google) doesn’t often release information on its users, but this Reuters article from July 2006 claims that, when the article was written, 65,000 videos were being posted to the site per day. If that number is accurate, it’s also likely to be much higher by now. (Although another more recent article from TechCrunch estimates that the number of videos being uploaded to the site daily is between 10,000 and 65,000.)

Some more stats – Compete.com shows that the number of people visiting YouTube is 49,532,320, up 4.5% this month and 94% this year, placing the site’s audience more than double Facebook’s (24,264,850), and gaining on MySpace’s (65,210,800). And that Reuters article claims that in 2006, visitors were watching more than 100 million videos per day on YouTube – again, that figure has likely soared in the past year and a half.

From these stats, I think it’s safe to say that online video is huge – and remember these numbers are from YouTube alone. There are many other online video sites that are popular and gaining audience (Hulu comes to mind).

But all this online video watching isn’t going to happen without consequences, according to the experts. Recent and well-reported (see stories here, herehere and here) research from Nemertes Research shows that by the year 2010, there could be serious slow-downs in the Internet from all the bandwidth demands unless infrastructure is boosted to keep up. According to the report, Nemertes estimates “the financial investment required by access providers to bridge the gap between demand and capacity ranges from $42 billion to $55 billion, or roughly 60%-70% more than service providers currently plan to invest.”

Chicken LittleThe bandwidth demands on the Internet’s infrastructure are clearly rising. But the sky is not falling. Although you would think it just might be from the recent coverage that this research has sparked:

Internet Might Collapse in 2010
Internet to go down in 2010?

And my personal favorite:

Back to Soup Cans and String?

Does this remind anyone of anything, like, maybe a technology issue that was supposed to cripple business a decade ago? To me, this is really starting to sound a lot like Y2K.

Granted, the coverage will have to continue for months and the fear, uncertainty and doubt will have to rise significantly to reach Y2K levels. But in its early stages, the rumblings are the same. And I would like to suggest that we will see the same result.

The Nemertes report claims that to avert the crisis, an extra $42 billion to $55 billion needs to be invested into the infrastructure of the Internet. To put this in context, in preparation for Y2K, “the United States government spent $8.8 billion dollars on Y2K fixes. Private U.S. businesses shelled out an estimated $100 billion dollars to prepare for the bug,” according to an article by CNN.

There is money to be spent when it’s needed. And there is time to correct these issues before they cause us to revert back to soup cans and string. Even the folks sponsoring the research agree. As Internet Innovation Alliance (IIA) co-Chairman Larry Irving told USA Today:

“We’re not trying to play Paul Revere and say that the Internet’s going to fall. If we make the investments we need, then people will have the Internet experience that they want and deserve.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 22nd, 2007

Kyley daschund dressed up for Thanksgiving

Be back on Monday…

Google could really hurt my self-image by asking if I'm fugly

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

There was a huge protest when Google debuted paid search ads in Gmail. People are still debating whether this is a violation of privacy, or just good business practice.

Personally, I don’t mind too much that Google peers into my inbox to read my messages and serve me relevant ads. Partly this is because I make my money through Internet business models and appreciate the forward-thinking (and money-making) brains behind Google, and partly because I just don’t have any secret e-mail that I want kept private. Yes, for you privacy advocates, I understand (and agree) that we have a right to privacy. But Gmail is a free, commercial service and no one is being forced to use it. So I don’t mind the ads.

Until today when I opened my inbox and found this:

Gmail FUGLY ad

Isn’t Google supposed to be reading my e-mail and delivering me relevant advertising? How is this relevant? Do they suddenly have a camera on me, too? Am I fugly?!

So I couldn’t resist, I clicked the link because I had to find out if I am fugly, and the link took me to the World Of Quizzes, where I had a chance to take the “Are You Ugly Quiz.”

Are you UglyI know you are dying to find out the verdict, but I can’t tell you because the quiz was all a front for some terrible co-registration marketing service.

WARNING: Do not be sucked in by this quiz even to attempt to discover if you are ugly. I actually took the quiz (as part of my research for this post, really!), but I was subjected to AT LEAST 50 ads, and I never saw the results of the survey. I am not exaggerating. I quit before it was over when I started having to click off 20 check boxes saying “no I am not interested” on each page.

It appears that Prospectiv is the source of this site – and the nightmarish number of ads. (At least according to the logo on the quiz pages.) I would love to hear some stats from them on how many people actually become leads as a result of this lead capture methodology – and if anyone that takes the survey actually makes it to the end to find out their results. I am all for creative marketing, but this example seems to take it too far.