Monday, July 31, 2006

YouTubification - is this what the media needs?

I have to say I’m a big fan of YouTube. What is clever about this site from my point of view is not that there is great content on there (which there is) but the way it keeps you clicking and digging deeper. It makes me wonder if what they’ve created here is a better model for the media now that the Internet has become the common way to access news and information. If you go on the site to see a specific piece of content when you are done you will immediately be presented with other related content you may enjoy. In other words it redraws the content around your search. If you compare this to most news sites it seem light years ahead. Take Google News as an example; on the news site you can view a news story but then when you click the back button (which is your only way of being returned to Google News) you are presented with the same headlines despite the choice you made. This is pretty well the model of all news sites. In essence they have buckets of content that stay in the same place regardless of what you do as a user. Imagine however a news site that once you clicked on a news item, then reselected the content on its homepage based on the choice you just made. So for example you click on a news item about United Airlines returning to profit (which is a miracle in my opinion but that’s whole other story). Once you clicked on the news at the side would be other travel related news items, item by the same journalist from the last few days, previous articles on the topic etc etc. When you returned to the homepage the content would also be slightly different. The closet I’ve seen to this is on BBC's site where they have links called ‘related articles.’ These links tend to be pretty straightforward though. From where I sit a YouTubification of the media has to be the way forward if they want to keep our attention.

Oh and while I'm at it, anyone care to guess how long it is before someone like Google buys YouTube?

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim: How will I be Youtubeified when I've been so conditioned to consume my news a certain way: National, local, entertainment, weather, sports, etc...

How is this dynamic changing news consumption, and what news is, for the 'never haves'? Those that will never pick up a newspaper, nor seek out news web sites that fit with a pre-conceived notion of what news is....I guess the news media equivalent of those maturing without ever having a landline in their houses/apts.

What's your thinking here?

Jerry Grasso said...

Tim: How will I be Youtubeified when I've been so conditioned to consume my news a certain way: National, local, entertainment, weather, sports, etc...

How is this dynamic changing news consumption, and what news is, for the 'never haves'? Those that will never pick up a newspaper, nor seek out news web sites that fit with a pre-conceived notion of what news is....I guess the news media equivalent of those maturing without ever having a landline in their houses/apts.

What's your thinking here?

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Tim Dyson, CEO of Next Fifteen said...

Jerry,
Good point. We are conditioned but we are a pretty adaptable species. I don't think there is such a generation as the one that doesn't want to hear news. I do think there's a generation that has grown up convinced they can choose to read and listen what they want when they want. The challenge is not try and convince them they should watch or listen to the news just because they should but rather to present the content in a way that gets them engaged in that content. Today's media seems to be more concerned with how to dumb down than engage. This is what leads to news coming in bite sized chunks. I'll bet that most people would actually consume much larger pieces of content IF the content were created in a way that encouraged them to. I'd argue that YouTube works as a content vehicle because it adapts to the user not because it dumbs down its content.

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