Blaine Cook continues to think hard about future directions for social media. You can follow his thoughts at his blog or Twitter stream . We particularly liked his post Facebook Is My New Boatcar, a discussion of Facebook’s privacy, interface, and applications which generated a lot of commentary in the community.
In the fall of 2009, Abby, Gus, and social networking intern Lindsay sat down to discuss outreach. We decided to follow a “watch where you are” strategy, trying to reach viewers where they were already viewing, sharing, critiquing, and remaking videos with their friends. But which communities would best support the kind of interaction we needed — comments and responses which would spark new episodes and discussions with us?
YouTube gives you a lot of different kinds of ways to relate to viewers and other YouTube users. You can be friends, subscribe, or just view. When you subscribe to a channel, that channel’s videos show up in a “feed” along with other channels you subscribe to. It’s almost like having your own TV channel programmed to see exactly what you want to see.
So it’s probably good for a channel to have subscribers, right? Random viewers may only watch one of your videos, once. But if someone subscribes to your channel, they might watch more of your videos over time. (Provided people actually view their subscriber feed, which isn’t guaranteed.)
In the introduction to the viral video part of this case study, we posed this question: Over how much time must views of a video be spread out if the video is to be considered “viral”?
Over the years, views pile up. A few of ours are now at a couple of thousand views. The videos with the most views tend to have been linked to at some point by a larger site, but plenty of the views build up steadily over the years.