Both CBS and MTV have (and will come out, respectively) with their own versions of YouTube. And they certainly won't be the last....
NBC has taken a rather erratic or even schitzophrenic approach, clearly demonstrating its indecisiveness or perhaps lack of (self-)confidence in the space.
But this post isn't really about criticizing MSM in any way, but rather to isolate 10 reasons why YouTube stands alone in a very enviable category -- social video:
1. YouTube began from the ground up. All imitators are looking to make exponential strides with incremental steps and tweaks. Not going to happen.
2. YouTube has entered the communal consciousness. It belongs to the people and is powered by the very same constituency it serves.
3. YouTube has entered (and nestled into) an enviable pop culture acceptance. It is to video what Google (the verb, the act, the behavior) is to Search. When you hear about a clip of interest (from Star Jones' firignation -- that's a mashup between firing, indignation and resignation -- to Andrew Baron talking about RocketBust or Zidane's Headbutt -- there is only one place to go.
4. The law of one applies. How many online auction stores do you know of? How about book stores?
5. YouTube (closely linked with point 1) subscribes to AND, as opposed to OR. It is completely inclusive; comprehensive. It is the one-stop-shop of online video.
6. The Whack-A-Mole phenomenon. Whack one mole and another pops up...and again and again and again. Sometimes two pop up. Bottom line, any successful attempts to control/restrict/supress consumer generated content are at best short-lived.
7. Its freebie distributed content model is the carrier pigeon meets boomerang of the social media world. It always comes back...
8. It has not become a safe haven for the fugative 30-second spot. Rather than apply traditional business models to non-traditional value propositions, YouTube is able to help its advertisers win through a) treating messaging as content, b) allowing expression through long-form content and (of course) c) allowing consumers to produce their own content. The entertainment industry is the lowest-hanging fruit in this regard.
9. Consumer-generated content is not only allowed to sit side by side professional content, but rather is judged/evaluated accordingly and thus has the ability to rise to the top of the heap. (Can you DIGG it?)
10. It is self-regulated - in terms of quality and popularity, but also in terms of objectionable/questionable messaging. (I'm not talking about vulturous legal eagles policing against copyright, but rather about relevance, entertainment and utility.)
Those are my 10....what are yours? Do you agree that YouTube has no equal?
Let me hear you roar.
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