Beyonce falls down on video and then off YouTube

July 29, 2007

News: On Tuesday, Beyonce took a huge fall down steps in her performance in Orlando. She later told the audience it “hurt so bad”–and by the looks of it, it could have been worse, so thankfully she wasn’t seriously hurt. She even got right back up and continued the song. She later told the audience, “Don’t put this up on YouTube.”

Well, of course, they didn’t listen and put up homemade clips from the show (probably taken on cellphones). The clips were viewed often all week. Then, YouTube took them down for “terms of use” violation, apparently meaning possible copyright violations (of the song performed) and unauthorized use of the video of Beyonce (who likely did not consent to the video). Sony BMG apparently sent YouTube a DMCA notice for copyright infringement. (More) YouTube, though, doesn’t seem to be finding all the clips yet because, last time I checked, you can find one clip here.


BTW, I think the concert venue staff are really the ones responsible for all the unauthorized clips. Maybe it’s too hard to control, but they let this happen.

Republican CNN/YouTube debate postponed

July 28, 2007

News: After front-runner Rudy Giuliani said he had a scheduling conflict and Mitt Romney said he might not go, the CNN-YouTube debate on September 17 for the Republican presidential candidates in Florida apparently has been postponed.

Analysis: Let’s hope Giuliani and Romney can clear their schedules. Let’s hope that this doesn’t mean it’s cancelled.

If you Google Ron Paul

July 28, 2007

News: More video of Ron Paul’s visit to Google on July 13. Looks like Dr. Paul blew away the crowd. It’s still hard to believe that Ron Paul is the most exciting candidate of all the candidates so far.  At least on the Internet and YouTube, Ron Paul is a rock star.

I promise to have my study of the Ron Paul YouTube phenomenon soon.

Esmee Denters becomes No.1 female artist on YouTube

July 28, 2007

News: It just happened a few minutes ago. Esmee Denters overtook Mia Rose for the No.1 Most Subscribed Musician on YouTube, 67,874 subscriptions versus 67,861. Esmee also is the No.1 Most Viewed female artist on YouTube (close to 41 million views) and 3rd Most Viewed overall musician — next to My Chemical Romance (over 65 million views) and the entire Warner Brothers Records label (over 48 million views).




Video of the week: Did the YouTube debate just lose Barack Obama the nomination?

July 27, 2007

This question turned out to be the biggest question of the YouTube debate. Hillary Clinton’s camp said it shows Barack Obama’s inexperience. Obama said a day later that it shows his new thinking (although in the question he invokes Ronald Reagan). You be the judge.

Esmee Denters to surpass Mia Rose on YouTube

July 27, 2007

News: Dutch singing sensation Esmee Denters appears poised to overtake Mia Rose as the No.1 Most Subscribed Musician on YouTube. Esmee’s at 67,824 subscribers, Mia Rose is at 67,870. That’s the closest it’s been (46). Esmee already is the No.1 most viewed female musician, so if she overtakes Mia, Esmee will further solidify her status.

esmee-72707-20.jpg mia-rose-72707-20.jpg

Let’s Go Crazy: Mom sues Universal for removing her baby video from YouTube

July 27, 2007

News:  The EFF gang is at it again.  This time, they’re suing Universal Music Group on behalf of Stephanie Lenz for sending YouTube an allegedly improper takedown notice under the DMCA to remove video of her baby dancing to Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy”  for 29  seconds.  (Complaint) (More)

Analysis:   Fair use is always a difficult thing to predict because courts have a lot of discretion to decide however they see fit.  And I don’t think there’s been any test case for fair use of background music in a home video.  This one, though, seems to me to be a pretty strong case of fair use.  The segment of Prince’s song is short and barely audible amid the ruckus created by the kids.  It’s not substitutional of Prince’s song in any respect.  Also, the song was used in one of those spontaneous moments involving a baby that all parents want to preserve on film to document their child’s growth.  I think it would be similar to a news reporter showing a scene from a county fair and having (spontaneously) some live music being captured in the background.

Republican candidates slow to join YouTube debate

July 27, 2007

News: So far, only Ron Paul and John McCain have agreed to participate in the CNN YouTube debate on September 17 co-sponsored by the Republican Party of Florida. Apparently, Rudy Giuliani won’t join. And Mitt Romney took a pot shot at CNN/YouTube, stating, “I think the presidency ought to be held at a higher level than having to answer questions from a snowman.” (more from Wash Post)

Analysis: Cowardly.

CNN-YouTube debate available for downloading

July 26, 2007

News:  CNN has posted the debate online for viewing and downloading.  YouTube also has the debate up on its site.

We’re living in the video world

July 26, 2007

News:  Pew Internet just released its report about video use on the Internet.  The results are eye-popping.

76% of Internet users between 18-29 watch online videos, and 57% of all adult Internet users.

49% of users between 18-29 watch videos on YouTube (compared to 15% for MySpace).

The most surprising stat to me:  62% of adult Internet users say they prefer “professional” videos over “amateur” ones; 19% prefer amateur; and 11% enjoy both equally.  For young adult men, the numbers are much more evenly distributed (which may explain why I’m surprised!). 

Another interesting stat:  57% of people polled watched videos online with others and shared links of videos with others.  73% of 18-29 year olds have watched with others and 66% have shared links with others.  The linking phenomenon helps explain how videos go viral.

Internal pop-up ads invade YouTube videos

July 26, 2007

News: I’ve already reported about this once before, but I’m getting a clearer picture of what’s going on. YouTube is deploying slick, internal pop-up ads that surface at the bottom of the screen in the videos of its most popular partners. I’ve seen ads for The Simpsons and Bourne Ultimatum. You can tell where the ad comes if you look at the red bar on the video player and see a yellow line. The ads are only visible on YouTube, not on embeds, so you have to click on the links below. If you click on the ad while the video is playing, you’ll be redirected to a slick internal video for the ad.

My Chemical Romance, “Teenagers.”



Analysis: It’s clear to me now how YouTube will turn a profit. If you don’t, just look below.


After you click on the bottom ad, you get to the internal video:


Ron Paul rocks Google + YouTube

July 25, 2007

News:  Ron Paul did an interview at Google last week.  He was the 5th candidate so far to be invited to @Google Talks–following John Edwards, Bill Richardson, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton.  So guess which candidate’s interview has the most views on YouTube today?  Well, after only 1 week of being up (while the other candidates have been up for 1 month or longer), Ron Paul has killed the competition.  He’s over 111,000 views–Hillary, Edwards, McCain, and Richardson don’t even come close, combined!

Analysis:  I will soon publish a study showing the Ron Paul phenomenon on YouTube.  He’s the most popular candidate on YouTube, of all the candidates, Democrat or Republican.  It’s very hard to explain.

Ustream–the live YouTube?

July 25, 2007

News:  Tech Crunch has an extensive review of the live video site Ustream.  The basic idea is to have video streaming live, so you can watch in real time.  It’s supposed to allow interactivity with chat and a feature that allows the viewer to “shout” by clicking on a button, indicating a favorable response.  It’s still in beta, so some bugs need to be worked out.

Analysis:  I’m not sure how important it is to have live video.  Maybe for a video conference or one of those sleezy sex cams, but I think part of the whole appeal of YouTube is that it’s asynchronous–users decide when they want to watch on their own time.     

Facebook lures away YouTube CFO Gideon Yu

July 25, 2007

News:  Social networking site Facebook just announced that Gideon Yu will become its new Chief Financial Officer replacing Michael Sheridan.  Yu went to Stanford undergrad and got an MBA from Harvard.  He worked as treasurer at Yahoo.  (More)

Analysis: Facebook is pretty hot right now, rumored to be preparing for an IPO or purchase by some other company.  After seeing through YouTube’s acquisition by Google, Yu probably needed more excitement.

YouTubers blast CNN, Anderson Cooper over presidential debate

July 24, 2007

News:  I guess I wasn’t the only one who was disappointed in yesterday’s presidential debate co-sponsored by CNN and YouTube.  Just read all the negative comments on YouTube.

Here are just a few:

1.  “The worse thing that ever happened to CNN was when Ted Turner sold out to Time Warner. This was no debate. The questions were good, but Cooper/CNN did an injustice to the YTubers by marginalizing some candidates. This top tier/bottom tier labeling by the media hurts the discussion the public wants. It’s the public that decides who is the top candidate, not the media. CNN should stay out of the debates if it can’t do better.”

2.  “There was not equal time given to all, the only candidate who in my opinion spoke the truth (Sen. Gravel) was given very little time, Anderson Cooper,was as bad as Wolf Blitzer”

3.  “There was a CNN debate? You call that a debate. What ideas did we hear. On top of that, you did a great job of putting Mike Gravel in the corner and only asking him to respond on questions that were asked to him. Bias, no there is no bias. I bet $1,000,000 that Ron Paul will be on the end, who wants to bet against me??? ”

4.  “Why did CNN / YouTube bother to invite the other candidates? It seems the powers that be have made the decision for us.  Clinton, Edwards, and Obama keep preaching how things will change. But since the 2006 election all we have had is a lot of hot air, submision to Bush demands, and blaming the Republicans. Why should we trust either side?
Isn’t it time the independent parties put aside their differences and form a coalition. This may be the only way the people’s voice will ever be heard.”

5.  “Extremely disappointing!! It was a frikken Hillary-Obama show, the questions were obviously filtered and very weak reruns, so called non top-tier candidates get setup questions,, What else can I say?

Candidate, total exchanges, total words, average words per exchange:
Obama, 14, 2050, 146
Clinton, 12, 1794, 150
Edwards, 12, 1661, 138
Biden, 7, 1019, 146
Rich., 7, 910, 130
Dodd, 8, 1645, 206
Kucinich, 7, 985, 141
Gravel, 7, 580, 83”

6.  “We were VERY disappointed in the YouTube debate because, for the most part, the same old questions were asked for the most part. The war, education, Dafur and health care. There were several questions that were submitted to YouTube that have never been asked to a candidate in any debate, yet these questions were not chosen by CNN.”

7.  “Could have been so much better”

Has Lonelygirl15 gotten out of control?

July 24, 2007

If anyone knows the plot to Lonelygirl15, can you please post a comment.  I’ve watched the recap videos, but they only go up to Episode 83 (of the 140).  I wish I understood what is going on with lonelygirl.  To get a sense of how convoluted the plot is, just listen to this next video:

How CNN botched the YouTube presidential debate

July 24, 2007

News: The first “experiment” is over. Today, we have time to reflect on what happened — and didn’t happen — in last night’s presidential debate for the Democratic candidates. As I said in my last post, I give CNN and YouTube an A for the idea of user-generated questions, but a C+ for the execution. Here’s what CNN messed up (although the Democratic Party and candidates may have been responsible for the format):

1. There was no opportunity for real debate or exchanges among candidates. The candidates had only 1 minute or 30 seconds to answer questions. No substantive question was asked of each of the candidates–meaning we never got the chance to compare all the candidates on a single question, even though many of the YouTube users posed their questions specifically to the entire group of candidates. For a 2 hour debate, that’s pretty appalling.

CNN, however, chose not to allow all the candidates a chance to answer. Sen. Dodd even expressed frustration at not having a chance to answer the important question about global warming. The only question that CNN posed to the entire group of candidates was the stupid last question in which the candidates were asked to say something they liked about the candidate on their left, and then something they didn’t like.  Are we back in 1st grade?

2. Anderson Cooper played favorites with the candidates and skipped over Senator Gravel. Sen. Mike Gravel protested not getting asked many questions compared to the other candidates repeatedly during the debate. By my count, Gravel got only 9 questions (often trivial ones), while Barack Obama got 19 questions. Don’t even include the guy on stage if you are not really going to include him in the debate.

3. CNN excluded all questions from children, but then included a question from a snowman. Cooper said that he thought the parents were using their children to ask their questions. So what? The guy who used the snowman got on CNN’s debate. Remember, from the mouth of babes.

4. CNN used only 11 questions from female questioners, but 28 questions from male questioners. OK, I don’t know the relative breakdown in the pool of 3,000 questions. But the disparity in questions between male and females was very noticeable to me.

5. Having follow up with 2 of the questioners live in the audience only wasted time. This really didn’t work. Anderson Cooper asked, “Did they answer your question?” One of the guys basically said he couldn’t hear the answer because someone next to him was making noise. The other guy used his follow up to say that he wanted to have the question asked of Hillary Clinton.

6. CNN chose some pretty gimmicky questions for laughs and even wasted more time showing questions not used for more laughs. CNN wasted precious time on videos shown to generate laughs–a snowman asking a question, a guy singing and asking for a pardon on his parking ticket, two country guys asking if the talk about Al Gore running for president hurt their feelings, the last question asking each candidate to say something good and bad about the person to the left. There probably were more, but you get the picture.

7. The 30-second campaign videos were nice, but took time away from the debate. I liked the campaign videos, but just have people go to YouTube to watch them. CNN shouldn’t take away precious time from the debate.

CNN-YouTube debate over — thankfully

July 24, 2007

News: After 2 hours, the debate is over. You can see all of the 39 video questions asked of the candidates here.

Analysis: I just did a BBC radio interview about the debate. I’ll try to get a link. CNN-YouTube get an A for the concept of user-generated questions. But I give them a C+ for execution. Hopefully, things will improve for the Republican debate.

The 1-minute and 30-second format for answers was far too restrictive, allowing very little interchange among the candidates, and most of the debate just looked and sounded like a conventional debate. And the parts that were unconventional were often gimmicky. YouTube’s Steve Grove, aka CitizenTube, probably could’ve done a better job than Anderson Cooper in moderating.

I don’t want to sound too negative because several of the questions from YouTubers were quite effective, particularly the ones that were just a little more personal.  The questions were different and, I believe, better than standard questions from journalists.  The questions were, for example, the minimum wage question from two young women, the gay marriage question from two lesbian women, the question from the pastor to John Edwards about the use of religion on the issue of gay marriage, the question from the parent who lost his son in Iraq, and the questions about health care from several people dealing with cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer’s.

[I’ll try to follow up with a fuller write-up.]

Tonight: CNN-YouTube presidential debate

July 23, 2007

News:  Tonight at 7 p.m. on CNN is the Democratic presidential debate co-sponsored by YouTube.  All of the questions will come from videos sent in by people on YouTube.  Anderson Cooper will moderate.  Videos will be shown on a huge screen and at each candidate’s podium.  YouTube received close to 3,000 questions.  You can sample them here.  I’ve noted one question below:

Esmee Denters or Mia Rose?

July 23, 2007

News:  Esmee Denters and Mia Rose draw a lot of comparisons on YouTube, with their fans sometimes trying to prove who’s better.  Both have signed with labels after being discovered on YouTube.  I’ll let you judge for yourself.

Mia singing “Unwritten”

Esmee singing “Unwritten”

Mia Rose new song ‘Better Off” on YouTube

July 22, 2007

Last chance to ask question in CNN presidential debate

July 20, 2007

Debate is on Monday, 7 p.m.  Submit your question here.

Video of the week: Harry Potter fever on YouTube: does he die?

July 20, 2007

New Taylor Swift song “Fearless” on YouTube

July 20, 2007

Taylor Swift is only 17, but she’s already had a Platinum album.  Her two most famous songs are “Tim McGraw” and “Picture to Burn.”  Here’s a new song that debuted on YouTube.

Off topic, but check out this restaurant review:

Mia Rose resurfaces on YouTube

July 19, 2007

The No.1 most subscribed musician is back with a video on YouTube. Mia Rose hasn’t posted in 3 months, so here she is updating her life in the studio.  She signed with Ryan Leslie’s music label.

YouTube Spotlight: Rudy Giuliani

July 19, 2007

So who’s on YouTube?: Aussie PM John Howard

July 19, 2007

Prime Minister John Howard’s video is here. 

Apply to be Diddy’s personal assistant on YouTube

July 16, 2007

This would be a fun job.  I wish I could apply

Esmee Denters performs Natasha Bedingfield’s “Unwritten”

July 13, 2007

Both Esmee Denters and Natasha Bedingfield are on tour with Justin Timberlake.

Who is YouTube?: my answer in 2 minutes

July 13, 2007

Here’s my next video.  I have a lot of YouTubers to thank for joining this project.  If you click on the video and go to YouTube, I’ve listed them all on the write up of the video.