I called my parents earlier this evening, like a good son should from time to time. During the conversation, my mother mentioned that she had been watching a couple of her favorite shows on YouTube. For my parents, who don’t watch a lot of TV, it’s a way to find programming that they enjoy — it not only fits their tastes but also their schedule.
And recently, I was thinking about a TV show I had always wanted to see but it premiered, ran a few seasons, and was cancelled before I had even heard of it. I looked it up on YouTube and — awesome! — every episode is there. It’s bookmarked and ready to watch.
I love internet TV. In my mind, it really represents one of the great things about the web: You can find the entertainment you want, when you want it, and you can watch it wherever you want it (on whichever device you choose).
What a change from yesteryear when you got the TV Guide, fought with a sibling over what you got to watch on the one TV in the house. Yeah, I’m that old. I think it makes me appreciate YouTube and other web-based TV a lot more. And I appreciate it, not just for entertainment…
There have been several times when I’ve been renovating my house and I needed to figure out how to do something and a YouTube video helped me figure it out. (Hey, I love books but it’s hard to beat actually seeing the whole thing from start to finish).
YouTube is huge (and it’s continuing to get bigger) and it’s changing how we consume television/video. Here’s some reading that I found insightful about where YouTube is now and where we can expect it to be in the near future.
- Don’t touch that remote talks about the growth of online video (not just YouTube) and how Amazon, Netflix, Microsoft, and even traditional television networks are turning to the web as a way to produce video. It’s hinted in this article and I think we’ll see even more of it in the future: Companies can produce pilots, push them to the web, measure response, and know which shows to produce. That is an exciting opportunity for the future of entertainment!
- The future of content is niche channels. This article is kind of basic, and more than a year old, but I like how it nicely summarizes the trends in content consumption, particularly on YouTube. I’ve become fascinated by the channel concept on YouTube and particularly how businesses can maximize that for the benefit of the organization and their customers.
- It’s getting harder to make money on YouTube. This article provided a good counterpoint to the frequent comment that YouTube (and web videos in general) are the wave of the future. I think we will see lots of video being created and consumed but this article makes me wonder whether YouTube might need to innovate new monetization models to motivate more quality programming, or businesses need to rethink why they are on YouTube and see it as an earlier part of their sales funnel rather than the place where they make money.
- How to respect copywriting on YouTube. This is a great article and it clearly outlines what happens if people upload a copyrighted song on their video. The concept of copyright is changing on the web, and YouTube is definitely a battleground where that is happening. As someone who earns money from the content I create, I want to see lots of copyright protection. But as a realist who is totally in love with the anything-can-happen wild west of the web, I recognize that copyright concepts may need to change even more than they already have. I frequently see people writing “I don’t own this song. No copyright infringement intended” on their videos, as if that will erase their liability for using copyrighted material. I don’t think there’s a clear answer yet about how we use content that we didn’t create. It’s very complicated.
After this week’s tragedy at the Boston Marathon, I saw a huge outpouring of support online at the various networks I spend my time. On Facebook, there were numerous “We support Boston” and “We pray for Boston” type posts that echoed what I felt.
Crises help to define us as people. We see countless people rushing toward danger to provide a helping hand. We see an outpouring of grief and generosity in these times. While our faith in humanity is often shaken to the core at these times (“how can one person do that to another?”) we also see our faith in humanity almost heightened by generosity and aid. Crises not only help to define our humanity, they also define our brands. We frequently see brands responding in crisis. And just like people, some respond appropriately and some respond inappropriately.
And that inspired the Aaron Hoos weekly reading list for this week:
- Epicurious enrages followers with Boston bombing tweets. Food site Epicurious tweeted a couple of inappropriate tweets following the Boston Marathon bombing. Those tweets have since been deleted from their Twitter timeline but the legacy lives on and it will be interesting to see how the brand comes back from this. These certainly aren’t the only brands to have fallen prey to these problems. Don’t miss the links to similar reputation management debacles also listed in the above article. What’s unfortunate is that these brands now have the Tiger Woods and the “you might remember” factor — they’re linked to a negative news story and it’s hard to separate the two.
- So how do you manage your company’s brand? This article at Inc.com — How to manage your company’s brand — is a great starting place but it’s only the beginning. You need a good, solid foundation of brand management best practices in place so that you can respond appropriate when the shit hits the fan.
- Crisis mode: How to react over social media from Entrepreneur.com is a good read that addresses this very issue. It’s hard to find the balance between real-time response and checks and balances of appropriateness. You’d hope that common sense prevails but it doesn’t always.
- 6 tips for handling breaking crises on Twitter is another excellent must-read for brands… although the truths go far beyond Twitter and should apply to any social media!
- How KitchenAid spun a Twitter crisis into a PR coup is a great little case study in how a PR situation can go terribly awry but can be managed. I’m not sure it was as much of a “PR coup” as the title suggests, but it provides a good outline of how a company dealt with the situation positively.
I’m starting a new series on my blog, Aaron Hoos’ weekly reading list. It’s a collection of links to stuff I’ve read in the week that I think you might also find interesting or useful. Enjoy!
- Dennis Crowley and the cycle of second-guessing. This article by Om Malik gives a positive spin to Foursquare, Foursquare’s co-founder, and the company’s latest software release. I really like Foursquare and I there there is a huge opportunity for location-based social media (especially the way Foursquare eventually sees their offering). I want them to succeed but I confess, I’m having a hard time seeing widespread, long-term adoption. But I hope I’m wrong.
- 7 simple productivity tips you can apply today, backed by science. As the title suggests, this article lists 7 productivity tips. Most of them won’t be a surprise to anyone who reads these kind of productivity lists regularly. But for me, the most thought-provoking one was the 7th one… and it just might be enough for me to rethink how I wake up in the morning.
- The happiest people pursue the most difficult problems. Although the article, published at Harvard Business Review, was written primarily for larger businesses, the key concepts are the same for those of us who spend our time in small businesses. The idea of stepping up to difficult challenges and rising above them is an underlying theme I’ve been thinking about lately (see my blog post Why you should revel in chaos).
- The state of content curation (and where it’s really headed). This is a good article on content marketing. What’s interesting is that it could have been written 10 years ago and still say exactly the same thing: There is no substitute for good content. Don’t try to cheap out and hire cheap, crappy writers so you can flood the web with volume instead of value.