one man's journey into creating gibblybits

Monday, November 27, 2006

From the department of DUH

On my morning rounds I happened to catch this:
CBS rules YouTube

Note: the following paragraph reads much better when using the "sarcastic jackass" voice from your favorite 'Family Guy' character

See, those geniuses at CBS discovered that, lo and behold, allowing the kids to promote your crappy TV shows might actually (dramatic pause) increase your ratings. What a concept? My god, this opens up all kinds of possibilities: movie promos (let's call them 'trailers' I don't know why), tv advertisements (hm, how about 'teasers'), or even some form of print ads that my mind can't even picture right now... And the beauty of all this promotion? We'll PAY to do it. Why not? I mean, we wouldn't want the kids to be doing our work for free, would we?

OK, enough sarcasm. This crap blows my mind. I see newspaper ad revenues are down again. I see basic cable ratings have the same old junk: football and Spongebob. And the beat goes on with the MPAA/RIAA side of the Zuniverse: you get to do what we tell you to do with our incredibly lame products you must consume...

This internet thing is just getting started, so I can't wait to see how a number of things play out over the next few years. We still have to fight the broadcast flag, some less savory pieces of the DMCA, and so on. I'm terribly optimistic that more companies will truly begin to understand and leverage the power of the web both for profits and for a better world. CBS is beginning to "get it" as evidenced by their viewership growing, and MySpace was a huge wake-up to Fox.

Nevertheless, there are still problems. CBS is successful because there is name recognition, playing to the strength of search criteria. These search engines are run by machines. As the complexity of the web increases every minute, we are approaching the crisis of too much choice. YouTube and ebay provide examples...

On YouTube, if you search for "mentos rocket" you'll find a number of duds. Either the video sucks, the attempt is lame, or they're just making fun of the phenom. Good luck finding the original video, and even with rankings it can be tough to separate the wheat from the chaff (just look through the how-to's).

With ebay, I dare you to sell an iPod case. I've tried nearly half a dozen times to sell our Llamapod cases on there, and never even got one bid. There are thousands! Too much choice. Imagine the poor couch potato out there trying to find things on the interweb. Computers are not his friend. People are, however...

Anyway, the Dept. of Duh will remain closed until the new year. Unless Sony decides to do something smart. That would be news. Good news.

In the meanwhile, keep your eye on the drowning mainstream media. Watch them as they furrow their collective brows in a vain attempt to understand the situation...

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