Google Buys YouTube

On Monday, Google announced its purchase of YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. I wrote my Tech Talk on Sunday, so some of the points mentioned may seem a little out-of-date, but I’ll let the series stay as it is.

WSJ wrote about Google’s purchase: “The deal — the largest in Google’s eight-year history — marries Google’s massive collection of computes, data lines and systems for serving up online ads from hundreds of thousands of advertisers with YouTube’s leading position in playing videos for users on the Web. It could transform the Mountain View, Calif.-based Google into a bigger power broker for the distribution of video online, following the mixed track record of its own online video efforts.”

Rebuilding Microsoft

Wired has a story on Ray Ozzie’s plans:

The goal is radical and risky: embrace a variety of revenue models, including monthly subscriptions and online advertising, to become more competitive. But the vision is simple: enable users to have access to their data and applications wherever they are and regardless of what device they’re using the laptop at work, the PC at home, the cell phone, the television, whatever. “It should all behave seamlessly,” Ozzie says.

He’s quick to point out that Microsoft will continue to sell software in a box for a long while. Business customers, in particular, still want a degree of stability and predictability in the software they use, so many may prefer an old-fashioned release cycle. These users may also wait awhile before they let someone like Microsoft or any outsider run their servers. It would be bad business to get too far out in front of these customers, Ozzie says.

But he sees lots of ways to use the Web to complement Windows and Office that Microsoft has barely tapped. “Take PowerPoint, for example,” he tells a gaggle of analysts crowding around him at a Microsoft cocktail party in July. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could hit F5 when you finished preparing a presentation and have your PC automatically upload the file to a Web address? Then people listening to your presentation by phone could see you flipping through your slides in real time, too.”

Emerging Education Technologies

Smart Mobs links to New Media Consortium’s Horizon Report:

The four major trends that emerged are identified below and reflect significantly changing attitudes toward technology and communication that surfaced again and again in the research. The significance of critical thinking skills and participatory media literacy is mentioned.

Dynamic knowledge creation and social computing tools and processes are becoming more widespread and accepted.

Mobile and personal technology is increasingly being viewed as a delivery platform for services of all kinds.

Consumers are increasingly expecting individualized services, tools, and experiences, and open access to media, knowledge, information, and learning.

Collaboration is increasingly seen as critical across the range of educational activities, including intra- and inter-institutional activities of any size or scope.

Newspapers 2.0

Doc Searls has suggestions for newspapers. Among them:

First, stop giving away the news and charging for the olds. Okay, give away the news, if you have to, on your website. There’s advertising money there. But please, open up the archives. Stop putting tomorrow’s fishwrap behind paywalls. Writers hate it. Readers hate it. Worst of all, Google and Yahoo and Technorati and Icerocket and all your other search engines ignore it. Today we see the networked world through search engines. Hiding your archives behind a paywall makes your part of the world completely invisilble. If you open the archives, and make them crawlable by search engine spiders, your authority in your commmunity will increase immeasurably. Plus, you’ll open all that inventory to advertising possibilities. And I’ll betcha you’ll make more money with advertising than you ever made selling stale editorial to readers who hate paying for it. (And please, let’s not talk about Times Select. Your paper’s not the NY Times, and the jury is waaay out on that thing.)

The Long Zoom

The New York Times has an article by Stephen Johnston on Will Wright’s new computer game, Spore:

You can catch glimpses of the long zoom in special-effects sequences, but to understand the connections between those different scales, to understand our place in the universe of the very large and the very small, you have to take another way in. To date, books and documentaries have done the best job of making the long zoom meaningful to mass audiences, starting with the Eames Brothers proto-long-zoom Powers of Ten� documentary of the 70s, which took the viewer from the outer cosmos to the atoms spinning in the hand of a man lying by the lake in Chicago. But a decade or two from now, when we look back at this period, it is more likely that the work that will fix the long zoom in the popular imagination will be neither a movie nor a book nor anything associated with the cultural products that dominated the 20th century. It will be a computer game.

TECH TALK: The Rise of YouTube: Googles Interest

So, why would Google want to buy YouTube? After all, there is Google Video. Hitwise has the stats: YouTube surpassed Google Video in early 2006, and that last month YouTube received a market share of visits 4 times greater than Google Video. Google’s replacement of the Froogle link with the Video on the homepage in August resulted in a 179% increase in visits to Google Video from July to September 2006, and only a 19% decrease in visits to Froogle over the same time period. Google obviously made the calculation that it had much more to gain from Google Video than Froogle. YouTube’s market share of visits increased by 24% in the same July-September period. According to Hitwise, YouTube had a share of 46% of visits to U.S. online-video sites in September. This compares with 21% for MySpace site and 11% for Google Video.

Charlene Li of Forrester Research summarises it perfectly: To start, 35 million users in the US and 100 million daily video views. But its not just the sheer numbers that grabs Googles attention. YouTube is a gem because it figured out what Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL, and all of the other video players in the marketplace couldnt that its not about the video. Its really about the community thats around the video.

The New York Times wrote about YouTube’s rise:

A deal for YouTube would be the crowning moment for a property that emerged as a cultural phenomenon almost immediately after it officially began last December. Its site, which delivers more than 100 million video clips a day, allows users to share a broad array of offerings from news clips to home movies to spoofs sometimes funny but often simply crude created by ordinary users.

Almost single-handedly, YouTube has both popularized the sharing of videos and empowered would-be movie makers around the world. The site is also facing possible legal challenges over the unauthorized posting and sharing of videos. Yet a number of media companies would prefer to embrace YouTube as a partner, rather than treat it as a pariah, as was the case with Napster.

The Wall Street Journal wrote:

“Combining Google’s huge advertiser base and proven key-word approach with YouTube’s huge inventory of tagged content and their engaged audience could be a very lucrative combination if they can pull it off,” says Mark Kingdon, chief executive of Organic Inc., a San Francisco online-ad agency owned by Omnicom Group Inc.

[YouTube] has been racing to build new systems for generating ad revenue. At the same time, it is negotiating with media and entertainment companies about online use of their content, some of which is available without the video owners’ permission on YouTube’s site.

Tomorrow: Googles Interest (continued)

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