Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Google Trends - The big catch

I love this new addition to Google Trends. Google Trends used to just show the level of searches on a specific term, but now you can look up site traffic trends, like on Alexa.

So here is the chart for Friendster, MySpace, & Facebook globally

But... Here's the catch. They're not letting you see data for Google's own sites. So this is what you get when you search for YouTube, Blogger & Google

"Your websites - youtube.com, blogger.com, google.com - do not have data to display.


  • Make sure all websites are spelled correctly.
  • Try different websites.
  • Try viewing data for all years and all regions."
If you click on the link to see more information it tells you:

"10. Are all websites included?

No. Not all websites are included in Trends for Websites. The following types of websites may not appear in the tool:

  • Websites with low traffic volume below our threshold
  • Websites that don't wish to be indexed by Google and have indicated their preference through a robots.txt exclusion file
  • Websites that don't adhere to our Quality Guidelines
  • Other websites for miscellaneous reasons"
Hmmm. Come on Google, give everyone a level playing field. What have you got to be scared of?

UPDATE - this is a good explanation:

"A better explanation, provided by one of our commenters. is probably that Google simply isn’t able to use its own tools for estimating traffic - since by definition all the data is being gathered by Google for the product is from Google users (their toolbar, for example), the data for Google’s sites would be skewed to 100% of all Internet users. It points out an inherent flaw in the product, and I’m not sure Google can easily solve it."

Monday, June 23, 2008

Interesting 2008

On Saturday I went along the Interesting2008 event in London. The idea is that it's like a festival for interesting speakers, talking about what they do, or what they love, and what makes it interesting. So lots of speakers with good stuff to talk about, lots of serendipidy, and no one on stage for more than 20 minutes.

To give an idea of the content the highlights for me were this demonstration of a turntable zoetrope (video comes from an earlier event), which I challenge anyone not to be thrilled by:

& this presentation on the joy of Lego - Lego is full of Win:

The event was great, and couple of things occurred to me:

1 - You could tour it. Lots of people around the country would be interested in this stuff. If you can tour something like Grumpy Old Women you can tour this (including local presenters)

2 - It would be great TV. 3 short presentations, snappily done in one 20 minute programme on BBC4 once a week. Or audition people to talk about what they love as some kind of 'Interesting Idol'.

Lots of the presentations should soon be here

Friday, June 20, 2008

Wii Fit UGC - "Sexy? What's wrong with being sexy?"

This is a great video of a girl playing Hula Hoop on the Wii fit, made by her boyfriend. While I'm sure it wasn't quite what the Wii marketing dept had in mind to promote the Fit they're probably not complaining, with over 4m views globally in less than a month. (Although on second thoughts it has been made by an ad agency, Tinsley)

& it's inspired this parody, with a geeky guy playing instead of the girl:

& now Playboy are getting in on the act...

Spore Character Creator

The new Spore game has been advertised heavily this week - I've seen the ads most morning as I've logged into my MSN Messenger.

Spore (he says, quoting Wikipedia) "is a multi-genre "massively single-player online game" under development by Maxis and designed by Will Wright. It allows a player to control the evolution of a species from its beginnings as a unicellular organism, through development as an intelligent and social creature, to interstellar exploration as a spacefaring culture. It has drawn wide attention for its massive scope, and its use of open-ended gameplay and procedural generation."

To promote this they're giving users the chance to create their own character, ahead of the launch in Spetember. This is a very neat idea, and much more innovative than the usual game trailer option.

Get creating here

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Two New YouTube Annotations Examples

Two new creative examples of YouTube Annotations - the ability to add text and links to other videos to your own YouTube videos. Since embedding doesn't work with these I'm just putting in links to the videos.

First, an ad from a local car dealer, giving info on the cars and contact numbers - here

Second, a 'choose your own adventure' game, based on The Godfather - here. Since this uses copyrighted content (video and audio) this one may not be around for long.

This is just a start - annotations add a whole new level of interest to YouTube

YouTube - a quarter of a million clips per day

I recently read that YouTube had announced the astonishing fact that 10 hours of video content is uploaded every minute to YouTube globally: "During a panel here at the [digital Hollywood] Media Summit yesterday, YouTube Inc. 's Philip Inghelbrecht, strategic partner development manager, dropped this nugget of information: Ten hours of fresh content is uploaded to YouTube every minute."

I'd always assumed that the average time length was 30 seconds or so, making this 1,200 clips per minute, but then I decided to be a bit more scientific. Looking at the 100 most recently uploaded clips from today, the average timelength is 200 seconds - 3 1/3 minutes.

This makes 180 clips per minute, 10,811 clips per hour, and 259,500 clips per day. Phew.

Also - if you compare this to the average duration of the most popular 100 videos you see that the average for this is 285 seconds - 3 3/4 minutes - so the longer clips are actually more popular. YouTube should no longer be seen as the home of the 30" clip.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Doritos UK TV Ad Competition - Winner Announced

A few weeks ago I wrote about the new competition for Doritos to make an ad to be shown on TV, and finally the winner is in.

Not the most 'user generated' (read amateur) looking video I've ever seen, but I like it, and it reminds me of being a kid and watching Vision On!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Mobile campaign on Blyk for Nick Hornby novel

I've recently seen people from Blyk at a couple of media events talking about the success of mobile as a medium.

Blyk is a UK service where 16-24s can get a certain amount of monthly free calls and texts in exchange for agreeing to receive marketing messages.

The Blyk site now features 8 case studies on how these campaigns actually work, from advertisers like Boots, Brylcreem, COI, L'Oreal and NatWest.

For example, Blyk was used by Penguin to promote Slam, the new novel by Nick Hornby.

Blyk sent out MMS messages to members, promoting the book, and offering an audio preview of the book, read by Nicholas Hoult, star of Skins on Channel 4, and also of the film About A Boy, a previous Nick Hornby novel.

70% replied to the original text, and 51% downloaded the audioclip to their phones. Impressive use of the medium!

Friday, June 06, 2008

Driving Challenge Game for the DfT

I love this new game for the UK Department for Transport, produced by AMV BBDO.

Nicola from AMV tells me "The “Driving Challenge” builds upon a film made by the University of Illinois 10 years ago to demonstrate the psychological principle of inattentional blindness. Essentially, the interactive game uses this concept to directly demonstrate that your driving is impaired when talking on a mobile phone, either hand held or hands free. In fact, the game reveals that if you use your mobile phone whilst driving you are four times more likely to crash! Its whole aim is to encourage drivers to be more vigilant."

Give it a go - I didn't pass, but can you?

YouTube Annotations

This is going to change how people use YouTube.

YouTube annotations allow users to add text and links to their videos.

For example in this interactive shell game (I tried embedding, but it doesn't work on embedded videos for some reason)

Think about the possibilities - film trailers can now let you choose endings, ads can contain links to the brand page, and all of a sudden YouTube is a response medium, as well as a branding medium. Brilliant.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

3 Minutes' Silence in China

This is an astonishing example of how patterns of internet usage reflect everyday life.

3 minutes' silence was held in China at 2.28 on 19th May for the victims of the May 12th earthquake in Sichuan.

The chart shows that during this time the number of searches on Google fell dramatically, as people stopped what they were doing to pay respect.

Click here to see how to donate money to the earthquake survivor appeal through Save The Children

Or to donate from the UK

Who should I support at Euro2008?

On the principle that 'if I've thought of it it can't be that innovative an idea' I'm amazed that there aren't any sites floating about helping us Britons choose who to support at Euro 2008.

OK, the BBC has a good film with various people giving reasons for who they will support, and a guide for fans of British clubs, while The Guardian has run a series of films on their site, but I wanted a fun interactive quiz.

Has anyone done one?
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