So who’s on YouTube?: Natalie Portman and New York Times

November 29, 2007

The Dick Cheney question was asked during YouTube debate

November 29, 2007

Hey, I predicted one of the questions that would be used last night from among the thousands submitted. Here’s the Dick Cheney question.  Fred Thompson’s one-liner was hilarious!

Mitt Romney and John McCain fight over water boarding as torture during YouTube debate

November 29, 2007

They should show a video of water boarding.

John McCain attacks Ron Paul during YouTube debate (going beyond question asked)

November 29, 2007

Was this a cheap shot?

Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney attack each other over illegal aliens during YouTube debate

November 29, 2007

Who won?

CNN YouTube debate for Republican candidates

November 28, 2007

News: Tonight it’s the Republicans’ turn to field questions from YouTubers sent in on video. The debate starts at 8 p.m. tonight on CNN. The questions used will later be singled out on YouTube. Here are a few questions that might be asked tonight.

Charles Trippy gets engaged on YouTube

November 28, 2007

Every now and then I stumble upon a YouTube video from someone creative whose videos have somehow escaped my attention.  Here’s one from this college student named Charles Trippy, who’s No. 7 all time, most subscribed comedian on YouTube.

The video is of Charles’s recent proposal to his longtime girlfriend Ally.  She said yes.  Awesome.

UPDATE: Some commenter wrote in and found the footage of the proposal in this video at seconds 59 through 1:07:

Val’s Art Diary hits Wall Street Journal

November 27, 2007

NewsVal’s Art Diary was featured yesterday in the Wall Street Journal.  You can find the article online

Val is a talented artist who makes YouTube videos of herself painting in time-lapsed video.  Her paintings are impressive, and the videos quite charming, filled with colorful banter.  She has over 22,000 subscribers to her videos, which have been watched hundreds of thousands of time.  Val uses her videos to sell her paintings on eBay and her own website; according to the figures in the article, Val has made thousands of dollars from selling her 49 paintings. You can watch her latest video below.

Analysis:  The Wall Street Journal article doesn’t say much about Val, but what it does say is informative.  We learn that Val is Valentina Trevino.  If I’m not mistaken, that’s the first time Val’s Art Diary has been revealed by her full name in print.  Also, Val is 29 years old and a “Chicago” artist.  Hmm…for some reason I pictured Val in LA! 

I’ve been following Val’s videos for some time.  Her videos definitely are among the best, most creative user-generated content that YouTube has to offer.  Go watch them!

Utah Highway Patrol taser guy for speeding violation

November 22, 2007

News:  Another law enforcement official resorts to tasering a person, almost as if it’s the first response to any encounter with a person.  (More)

Analysis: This is getting out of hand.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 21, 2007

Yahoo! strikes user-generated content deal with Sony BMG

November 21, 2007

News:  Yahoo! announced a major deal with Sony BMG that allows users to synch music from Sony BMG artists into user-generated videos uploaded onto Yahoo!  (More)

Analysis:  This is an interesting development.  I can’t wait to see how many Sony BMG artists’ titles are allowed on Yahoo!  As I’ve been saying for some time now, the synching of background music into user-generated videos is one of the biggest copyright issues on the table.  No one has come up with an adequate platform to satisfy consumer demand.

Terra Naomi releases “Up Here,” “Summertime” and “Umbrella” cover

November 20, 2007

News: Terra Naomi just released in the UK three songs, “Up Here” and “Summertime,” and a cover of Rihanna’s “Umbrella.”

The songs are available through Island Tunes. (Sorry, not yet on US iTunes.)

Analysis: I just bought these songs. The “Umbrella” cover is spine-chilling, amazing, mesmerizing, mind blowing, jaw dropping, hair standing, I-can’t-believe-I-just-heard-that unbelievably good. Wow, I just love this version and could listen to this song over and over again (I just listened to the song six times in a row). You’ve got to listen to this song on Island Tunes (you can preview it for free, but it’s even better in its entirety)! Amazing.

The “Summertime” song has a cool, pyschedelic vibe to it, very different from the video above. “Up Here” is pretty much what you hear on the video above.

Vancouver Airport police taser killing

November 16, 2007

News: On October 14, RCMP officers at Vancouver Airport tasered a Polish immigrant Robert Dziekanski, who was traveling for the first time on an airplane to relocate to Canada with his mother. Mr. Dziekanski spoke Polish, so he may not have understood everything going on at the customs check point. He became agitated, and then Canadian police officers came in and soon tasered Mr. Dziekanski several times. He died right after the tasering. (More)

VIEWER DISCRETION: This video is the raw footage of what happened taken by a bystander. It is unedited. It contains disturbing scenes of Mr. Dziekanski getting tasered, falling to the ground, and then dying. I believe this is a newsworthy video, but viewer discretion is advised.

Analysis: I’m not an expert in airport customs procedures or the use of tasers. But what happened here is quite disturbing to me. If anyone knows the general safety of tasering, please comment.

Video of the week: Turtles

November 16, 2007

This is one of my own. I hope you like it.  If you would like to see my prior selections for video of the week, visit here.

Edgar Bronfman, CEO of Warner Music, admits music industry made a mistake in file sharing

November 15, 2007

News:  Edgar Bronfman, Chairman and CEO of Warner Music, made this incredible admission today (according to Tech Crunch):

“We used to fool ourselves…We used to think our content was perfect just exactly as it was. We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding. And of course we were wrong. How were we wrong? By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won.”

Analysis:  Better late than never.  I’m not sure if the music industry has learned enough, though.  The industry has not yet given consumers what they want in the video space — the option to use music they buy on iTunes or elsewhere in YouTube videos, authorize by cheap synch licenses.

Newteevee interviews Steve Chen

November 15, 2007

News:  Newteevee interviewed co-founder of YouTube Steve Chen.  The transcript is here.

Analysis:  The most revealing part of the discussion was Steve Chen’s explanation why YouTube isn’t improving the video quality of its site (to the level of other video sites).  Here’s the exchange:

LIZ: Have you watched HD online?

STEVE: I want to be watching HD on his couch, not online. The type of content that they have on the site — 30 seconds — where you have to do something proactive (click on the next bit).

Audience person yells out HD. She wants HD. Loudly. With claps.

STEVE: They haven’t disregarded HD, it’s more about getting people all over the world being able to watch it. In parallel, they can implement higher quality. Up until now, it’s been “good enough” — but we’re interested in promoting higher-quality.

My take:  I do wonder why it’s taking YouTube a while to upgrade the quality of video.    People tolerate lower quality video on YouTube because the site has far more videos than other sites.  But if you’d ask people, I’ll bet they’d prefer higher quality video on YouTube, at least to the level of some of the other video sites already out there.

Teacher Cristina Mallon resigns after cheerleading routine on YouTube

November 14, 2007

News: Cristina Mallon, an English teacher and cheerleading coach at a high school in Gilbert, Arizona, has reportedly resigned. The cheer coach had showed her class a short routine in class. After video of the routine made its way on YouTube, the school put her on paid leave. She later returned to class, only to face criticism from a few parents for selecting the book Jake Reinvented for the class reading list.

Analysis: Unless I’m missing something, I think the school board should not accept her resignation, but should stand by her. The ultimate question is whether she is a good teacher. I haven’t heard any criticism of her abilities as a teacher, particularly not from any students or school administrators.  Had a male high school teacher performed a cheer in class, I doubt there would have been the same kind of response.

NOTE:  I would love to hear your reaction to this incident, so please comment.  Am I right, she should keep her job?

Jerry Seinfeld hits YouTube

November 14, 2007

Cool commercial.

I just got invited to Hulu

November 13, 2007

News:  NBC Universal and News Corp. have combined to create Hulu, the so-called “YouTube killer.”  The site provides “premium” content from TV shows on NBC and Fox, including the Simpsons, the Office, Heroes, and 30 Rock.  The site is still in beta stage, so you need to get an invite to watch videos on the site (unless the backdoor is still working).

Analysis:  I’ve just started my tour of Hulu, but I have to say that I really love it.  The design of the site is clean, simple, and easy to navigate.  And the video quality is absolutely fantastic (near high def, if not high def), much better than YouTube’s.  The key difference is that Hulu doesn’t allow amateur or user-generated videos like YouTube does.  So it seems doubtful that Hulu will steal away YouTube’s audience, many of whom probably prefer to watch at least some amateur videos or “non-premium” content.

USA Today article on Internet videos and Quarterlife: Is this the end of TV?

November 13, 2007

News:  USA Today has an article discussing the development of “webisodes,” short videos online that are comparable to TV shows.  Lonelygirl15, for instance, turned out to be the most famous, launching on YouTube last year, but her main character has since died off.

One of the new series online is Quarterlife, produced by TV directors Marshall Herskovitz and Edward Zwick.  You can find the show on MySpace.  A related USA Today article discusses not only Quarterlife, but also Chad Vader (popular on YouTube) and Roommates (popular on MySpaceTV).

Analysis:  The dramatic series is difficult to do in 4 minute or less, but I think Lonelygirl15 proved that it can be done effectively on the Internet.  As more Hollywood directors (along with amateurs) play around with short videos, I’m sure we will see another Internet sensation like Lonelygirl 15.  You really need to start out with a captivating actor, though.  And to sustain the sensation, a good story — something that I’m not sure that Lonelygirl15 could deliver.

The Utube Blog hits the 1 million mark

November 12, 2007

Dear readers,

I’m often reminded of how lucky I am to have your following, as I chronicle the amazing developments related to this revolutionary technology known as YouTube. I’ve learned a lot from your comments and emails, and have had fun looking at video links sent to me from interested readers.

My blog is just a little over 1 year old and we just went over 1 million views. I couldn’t have done it without you all. Thanks for visiting my website!


Video of the week: Puppy love

November 9, 2007

I know the owners of these two puppies.  They shamelessly dote on their dogs like there’s no tomorrow.  Can you blame them?

No. 1 YouTube comedian Kevjumba on Halloween

November 8, 2007

Kevjumba is the No.1 Comedian on YouTube.   His videos get hundreds of thousands of views, many of them nearing the 1 million mark. Not bad for a guy who’s still in high school.  He even seems to have permission to use songs from Om Records in his videos.

Tyson the skateboarding dog, the most popular YouTuber on Oprah?

November 8, 2007

News:  So a day after Oprah featured YouTubers on her show, who do you think was the most popular?  Well, it looks like Tyson, the skateboarding dog, stole the show.  The video view count on Oprah’s channel looks like this:

Tyson, the skateboarding dog – 608,662 views

Esmee Denters – 189,202

Paul Potts – 96,805

Chad Hurley & Steve Chen – 49,209, 29,917

Mr. Evolution of Dance – 40,012


Analysis:   Of course, Oprah beat everyone, with over 1 million views for her big announcement on YouTube.

Oprah on YouTube: YouTube changed the world

November 7, 2007

News: Oprah started out the show today on YouTube with this pronouncement:

“You know, there are a few inventions that I think kind of rock the world. Wouldn’t you agree? The telephone would be in there, right? I think about that every time I dial. There’s just 7 digits, and then you’re talking to somebody. The light bulb would have to be there. And the airplane, of course, because most of you got here by airplane. Of course, the computer, look at how our world has changed since the computer.

“And then there are a couple guys in their twenties who launched YOUTUBE! … [APPPLAUSE] And then it just exploded, virtually exploded. This website allows anybody to post a video and become world famous instantly. Over 200 million–MILLION!–videos are watched on YouTube every single day.”

Analysis: The show today was pretty amazing, as was Oprah. Oprah definitely gets it. She really gets the incredible power of YouTube. She’s not a techie, but she is perhaps the most astute media celebrity/mogul around. As I’ve been saying to anyone who will listen, YouTube is, hands down, the most important website in the 21st century. It is revolutionary. And now Oprah is a part of the revolution.

For all of my posts so far on Oprah, visit here.

So which YouTubers made it on Oprah?

November 7, 2007

Esmee Denters

Julia and James “Dirty Dancing” wedding dance

P Diddy

Juddson Laipply

Paul Potts

Tyson, the skateboarding dance

Oprah interviews Mr. Evolution of Dance (Judson Laiiply)

November 6, 2007

Video click here.  Oprah interviewed Judson Laiiply, whose “Evolution of Dance” is the Most Watched Video (all-time) on YouTube, with over 63 million views.   To put that number into perspective, the last episode of Seinfeld received 75 million views.  So Judson’s video is not too shabby.

Oprah interviews Chad + Steve of YouTube

November 6, 2007

Video click here.  Oprah conducts an excellent interview of co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen.  Oprah even has her own flip video camera. 

The best line by Oprah:  “The genius of [YouTube] is how simple it is, and the fact that it includes everybody.”  I couldn’t have put it better myself. 

Oprah interviews Esmee

November 6, 2007

Video click here.  Esmee was very nervous, but there’s no doubt she will be a star.

(Sorry, Oprah’s disabled the embedding of videos, so you need to click the link above.)

Oprah does YouTube today

November 6, 2007

News: Today is the day. Oprah officially becomes a YouTuber, hosting Steve Chen and Chad Hurley on her show, along with other YouTubers like Esmee Denters. YouTube will get the “Oprah treatment,” which is not bad for a company nearing 3 years old. If you’re free this afternoon, you can catch Oprah at 4 p.m. (at least in my area). I will blog much more about the show afterwards. Can’t wait.

For more, visit my last post.