Tweets, Pokes And Uploads: Watching Social Media’s Growth In Real-Time

Twenty hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, nearly a million blog posts each day, 600,000 new members of Facebook and around four million tweets via Twitter every 24 hours – some social media numbers are quite hard to fathom. 

Not sure if Gary Hayes’s real-time counter makes things easier but it does offer another way to watch the dials whizzing round.

 – Is Social Media A Fad? Apparently Not

The Pope, Sarah Silverman and another Google Ads Fail

“Sell The Vatican, Feed The World,” comedian Sarah Silverman urges in a three minute Papal pounding routine currently doing good business on YouTube.

It’s not for the easily offended, replete with the f-word and drawings of male-genitalia. And it’s unlikely to go down a storm in the Catholic community.


“Any involvement in the holocaust, bygone,” she assures the current Pope as part of her would-be deal making. For a finishing gambit she tells him: “If you sell the Vatican to feed the world you will get crazy pussy.”

So when the in-vision contextual adverts include ‘Book Vatican tours’ and ‘Papal audience’ you’ve got to put it down as another Google Ads fail.

Google Ads. FAIL

The 2010 YouTube Election Has Just Begun

Tim Montgomerie and the Conservative Home team were quickly out of the traps on Tuesday night with a video response to Gordon Brown’s “cuts, cuts, cuts” speech at the TUC.

Slickly and quickly made, uploaded onto YouTube and embedded across the right-wing blogosphere (and here!), it’s the shape of things to come – from all sides of the political spectrum.

It’s easy to forget that the digital world looked very different last time around.

But remember that when the 2005 General Election campaign kicked off, YouTube was barely a month old.

Just as significant, it wasn’t until June of that year that broadband overtook dial-up as the most common means of accessing the internet in UK homes.

We just weren’t ready for it.

Fast forward four and half years, throw in the lessons from last year’s Obama-McCain contest in the US and it’s clear that video with bite and purpose – embeddable and spreadable – will become an election staple.

Ron Wood Bee Sting Returns To YouTube

It’s back, but for how long? This clip was removed a couple of times earlier this week by Newport Television, the company that controls ABC affiliate WSYR-TV 9.

Enjoy it while you can…

Ron Wood, Anchorman: Stung On YouTube
‘Motherf*$&£ing Bee.’ The Anchorman’s Sting

Ron Wood, Anchorman: Stung On YouTube

ron_wood_abc_anchormanA local newsman exits his offices on a bright and sunny day in Syracuse, New York, and delivers the latest headlines.

He heads towards the camera but, perhaps 30 seconds in, he gets stung by a bee. Not one to brush the incident to one side, he reacts. Inevitably, it is an expletive-ridden reaction:

F***ing bee on me. A f***ing bee just bit me. A f***ing bee just stung me. Look, a f***ing bee stung me. Look, I got stung by a bee. Motherf***er!

Bizarrely, he finishes it all by asking “anybody hurt?” before returning to his mark for take two.

Yesterday I embedded a YouTube video of the clip on this blog because:

  1. I can’t quite leave the silly season behind even if it is no longer August
  2. It was very funny

But within hours of it going up, the video was removed from YouTube. Removed at the behest of Newport Television, a TV holding company which includes among the channels it runs an ABC affiliate called WSYR-TV 9, employers of anchorman Ron Wood (pictured).

It’s not the first time Newport has gone after copies of this clip on YouTube – an earlier upload has gone from this Esquire page.

Why has Newport acted in such a heavy-handed way?

Because the clip reflects badly on the news channel and its anchor? Hardly, Wood is simply reacting as many of us would. Because it is foul-mouthed? Perhaps, but nothing a little bleeping can’t sort out. Because Newport owns the rights? Surely not.

At best a clip like this raises the profile of the station and its star anchorman – it extends the reach.

At worst? Well, I’m not sure there is much of a downside. It’s hardly denting the company’s revenues. And if it really was an issue about rights, why isn’t the clip now on the WSYR-TV website?

UPDATE 5 Sep: Video has turned up again, but for how long? Enjoy it while you can:

‘Motherf*$&£ing Bee.’ The Anchorman’s Sting
Chris Brown, JK Wedding Entrance Dance And Unintended Consequences

Chris Brown, JK Wedding Entrance Dance And Unintended Consequences

The trouble with applying offline rules to online business is that you fail to account for new models. The music industry has fought perhaps the longest, and most misguided, battle of this sort.

In an effort to protect what has historically been its cash cow (the album) the industry has vigorously gone after illegal downloaders, sharers, rippers and burners. Legally and morally, it’s not difficult to side with the musicians and their masters. But logically?

Look what can happen when someone illegal rips a tune. Take the amazingly popular – and funny – JK Wedding Entrance Dance.

Featuring Chris Brown’s Forever, the video has now been watched more than 22 million times. By the middle of the summer, Brown’s single reached number four on the iTunes singles chart and number three on Amazon’s best selling MP3 list – and it has continued to sell steadily ever since. That’s over a year since its official release.


It is arguable whether either the music industry or the artist deserve this kind of luck, but luck they have had.

As the media industry obsesses over paywalls and micropayments, it would do well to look at the story of Chris Brown and the JK Wedding Entrance Dance.

(UPDATE: Some interesting analysis of the JK Wedding Entrance Dance phenomenon from the Official Google Blog. Clearly Google – owner of YouTube – has an agenda but it’s interesting stuff nonetheless: I now pronounce you monetized)
Free is just another cover price
What Chris Brown’s YouTube Apology Tells Us About New Media
What if the business model for news ain’t broke?

When Is The Best Time To Publish Online?

Larry Weber thinks he knows.

In his latest book Sticks & Stones: How Digital Business Reputations Are Created Over Time and Lost in a Click, the co-founder of PR giant Weber Shandwick says that if you are posting a video to YouTube, do it at 9pm EST.

That’s a rather anti-social 2am in London, and 3am across much of continental Europe.

Weber explains:

Your video will be up for European viewers to watch before they go off to work or school and you’ll catch the eye of US viewers winding up their weekend web activities.

So there you go. Simple.

I can’t vouch for the success of Weber’s magic hour but it does point to a shifting pattern in internet consumption habits.

In the (not too distant) past, successful pick-up meant posting in office hours. The logic was simple – most of us were online most of the time Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm.

Indeed, at Channel 4 News the race is still on to get the nightly Snowmail out before 5pm.

Miss the slot (and we often did) and not only would you get complaints the following day from people picking up an out-of-date ‘what’s coming up on the show’ newsletter, you’d also see a significant reduction in click-throughs.

Even across the working week, some days are better than others. When we launched in the late 1990s we discovered that an email newsletter sent out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday would generate more traffic than one sent on a Monday or Friday.

And then there are the daily spikes. Lunchtime and towards the end of the working day still register – the latter enjoys the double-whammy of not only being the end of the European work-day but lunchtime on the east coast of the US.

Much of the above still holds true, but now we’re online across more hours of the day, seven days a week the old assumptions are being tested. 

Nevertheless, 9pm EST? I’d like some proof.

Which Is The Second Largest Search Site After Google? (Clue: It’s Not Yahoo!)