Friday, June 30, 2006

Viral videos

You Tube, along with Google Video, iTunes , iFilm and others, are really shaping up. It’s this combination of easy to use tools (uploading, searching etc) with global distribution that make the web sing. You Tube was started in 2005 by three ex-paypal guys and roared to success on the back of cult clips such as Lazy Sunday. It uses Flash to play movie clips and moderates content – but it’s the sheer volume of uploads that’s amazed everyone. Google Video is similar but with a payment method, like iTunes. Tens of thousands of clips are uploaded every month with millions of views and global epidemics of viral behaviour.

Viral videos (Stewart’s Crossfire, Lazy Sunday, the Star Wars Kid, askaninja) have fuelled the video sharing market. This is the stuff that kids talk about, using word of mouth/ mouse. Camera phones, free editing software, camcorders and blogging (You Tube allows you to link clips to your blog) have made the whole thing a sort of medium in itself.

Let’s learn from this. I had to give a session on 'How We Learn' this week at a major bank and had to teach them to juggle (hackneyed I know) – You Tube had dozens of excellent coaching clips on how to juggle. Got to learn something? Go to these sites and get some free stuff. Teachers and trainers should be using it in their organisations to deliver videocasts . The mess is the message.

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