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    This is the personal blog of Simon Kendrick and covers my interests in media, technology and popular culture. All opinions expressed are my own and may not be representative of past or present employers
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Two great videos and the importance of distribution

The video above – Dr MIchael Wesch’s Anthropological Introduction to Youtube – has, at the point of writing, received over 112,000 views. It was uploaded just over a week ago. Not bad for a 55 minute video

The author has past form. A previous video of his – the Machine is us/ing us – has over 6.1m views.

As Dr Wesch mentions in the top video, the Machine is us/ing us grew exponentially in popularity. It spread through word of mouth and grew via Digg and del.icio.us. User generated filtering led to user generated distribution.

But how can the content rise to the fore? It helps that Dr Wesch produces captivating videos but as he points out, 9232 hours of video are uploading to Youtube per day. Six months of Youtube videos equate to sixty years of always on network TV content.

Blogs can of course promote user generated content. But Technorati tracks over 112m blogs. How can a blog rise to the fore?

This question is bubbling around my head at the moment, but I think it points to the continuing necessity of mass media. These may be traditional, but they can equally have spawned bottom up from the Internet.

There needs to be a guarantor of quality content out there (insert joke about quality of content on mainstream media at the moment). Both for people to consume, but more importantly it needs to exist to attract the talented people that create quality content.

Because in the current climate I’m not convinced that quality can naturally rise to the top. There is a good chance of it being sidelined by a Numa Numa or a Tay Zonday.

While The Machine is us/ing us beat the Superbowl adverts (average cost $3.6m) in popularity, what are the chances of these videos having as many views if they were released virally? They could potentially have been as successful and possibly more if the stars align in the right place, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The event, the television event, brought people together.

Mass media still has a future. It may not be perfect, but for me it is the best method for talent to reach an audience.

sk

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Links – 4th August 2008

Part 2 of my link update. These are edited highlights of my delicious (look mum, no dots!) bookmarks, which can be accessed via the link on the right hand side of this blog. If you ever look through those, you will realise why I don’t automate every bookmark to appear here.

And also, I like to add my own thoughts and comments from time to time. I’m not purely a messenger. There may be due cause to shoot me.

Er, anyway, moving on. Today’s links are on the topic of

Business and the Internet

Coca Cola “renting” bloggers (Trendsspotting) – Personally, I don’t see any problem with this so long as their is full disclosure. If readers find it unsavoury, it is their prerogative to go elsewhere

Seth Godin’s three laws of great graphs – I can’t say I agree with him. I would ban pie charts rather than bar charts, and motion is only useful when going from A to B. Animations are normally horrible – that infamous TED presentation being the honorary exception

Excellent analysis on why some analytical applications fail (Juice Analytics) – it is all about making the right assumptions with initial user behaviour

Noah Brier wonders if Metcalfe’s Law has a plateau – it is a good point regarding social networks. Universality is a great benefit, but it can also become frustrating. Particularly if you don’t like crossover in the various strands of your life.

The gentrification of Geek News (Anarchogeek) – this relates to the above link, with Noah’s quote of Paul Saffo very pertinent: “The value of a social network is defined not only by who’s on it, but by who’s excluded.”

The Copyblogger guide to being interesting – on the same note, those that missed the original link should check out Russell Davies’ “How to be interesting”

Taking learnings from the failure of a start-up (Information Arbitrage)

Stephen King’s new story is being published through graphic videos in weekly installments

Very funny review of viral marketing (Ships Biscuit)

Thoughts on interaction design (Welie) – an interesting, thoughtful essay on usability and design

Fantastic series of links and resources on giving excellent presentations (Conversation Agent) – this is a bookmark I will be consistently referring back to

Paul Graham lists start-ups he would like to fund

10 things you should know about the Internet (Neatorama)

Examples of corporate social media in action (Mashable)

Ten Web 2.0 ideas that failed (Fast Company). On a theme, we also have 25 failed Internet start-ups (Business Pundit)

Businessweek article on Personal MBAs – I’m intrigued

Charlie Brooker on SEO (Guardian)

Google now indexes 1trillion webpages (Google Blog)

Management begets process (Keynet Consultancy)


It is extremely hard to narrow it down, but if I had to pick my top 5 (I can’t narrow it down to 3), they would be Excellent analysis on why some analytical applications fail, Taking learnings from the failure of a start-up, Very funny review of viral marketing, Thoughts on interaction design and Fantastic series of links and resources on giving excellent presentations

Stay tuned for the remainder in the series. They may deviate from the core subjects of this blog, but they are well worth a look if you have a spare few minutes

Tuesday: Useful and Interesting

Wednesday: Miscellaneous

(And on Sunday there was Marketing and Media)

sk