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Saturday 5 May 2007

Bytes · YouTube copyright - Apple greens- Online soap hit

  • A new study has shown that YouTube is overwhelmingly not relying on copyrighted content. Vidmeter says it's more than 90%. Takedown notices cover less than 6% of the views on YouTube. The Premiership is now suing them alongside Viacom.

  • Coming in very late: Michael Grade has announced that ITV "plans to learn from the mistakes of the music industry" and "keep control" of its content as that content moves online.

    It wants to make it's website ("The ITV portal to its television and programmes") the destination.

    Good luck to them but they've made themselves a rod through completely ignoring findability and viral buzz — no posting I'm a Celebrity viral nuggets on YouTube..

  • UK Online Centres — which are just about the only people addressing the digital divide — are under threat because of buck-passing on funding amongst Whitehall departments.

    In Singapore, they have a whole eCitizen Helper Service, which is a partnership with businesses.

    Need help to transact with the Government online?

    Don't worry, eCitizen Helper Service is available island-wide. The service offers free assistance for all citizens and residents to access the Government services online. Look out for our mascot at participating outlets.

  • Greenpeace have welcomed Steve Jobs promise that Apple will be greener. Jobs move follows a long and persistent campaign.

    "It's not everything we asked for. Apple has declared a phase out of the worst chemicals in its product range, Brominated Fire Retardants (BFRs) and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC) by 2008. That beats Dell and other computer manufactures' pledge to phase them out by 2009. Way to go Steve!

    But while customers in the US will be able to return their Apple products for recycling knowing that their gear won't end up in the e-waste mountains of Asia and India, Apple isn't making that promise to anyone but customers in the USA. Elsewhere in the world, an Apple product today can still be tomorrow's e-waste. Other manufacturers offer worldwide takeback and recycling. Apple should too!

    Now, let's take it to the next level! An Apple green to the core!"

  • A San Francisco TV Station recently premiered a show online — it was a documentary — but a daily teen-aimed soap opera, is entirely online and already a minor hit.

    Prom Queen is averaging roughly 200,000 views a day, and has accumulated more than 5.2 million views since its April 2 debut.

    While relevant benchmarks are hard to come buy in this uncharted space, the show’s daily audience is equivalent to a low-rated cable series, though much smaller than individual clips of popular YouTube ‘series’ like lonelygirl15, which sometimes yield more than a million views.

    Web Shows is a Comedy Central project where “webisodes” that originated online will then make their small screen debut in July.

    Another example of an online-traditional TV experiment is Jack Black’s, which ties to a show on VH1.

  • The Register is reporting that fans who missed out on Glastonbury tickets are nevertheless being spammed.

    Michael Eavis runs the Glastonbury ticketing through the huge Mean Fiddler organisation and the Reg suggests that "data was somehow leaked".

  • Jacob Nielsen comments on eBay's reported record profits for Q1.
    In presenting the record numbers, the CEO, Meg Whitman, said that "the company had been benefiting from changes in the user experience that had increased the number of auctions leading to sales" (as quoted in The New York Times, April 19).

    This is a great example of the benefits of usability for e-commerce: income comes from multiplying the amount of use with the conversion rate. The more you improve the user experience of finding products, researching them, and buying them, the higher your conversion rate.

    Yet most sites invest vastly more in bringing in new traffic (increasing an almost-irrelevant "unique user" count) than they invest in making these users convert.

    The cost of doubling traffic is a hugely expensive advertising campaign. Doubling conversion costs a modest usability project to identify your users' main pain points followed by targeted redesigns of those elements. Much cheaper – and a sustainable advantage, whereas traffic brought in by ads will subside when your advertising budget runs out.

    In eBay's case, user experience is so important for profits that it's one of the main things the CEO mentions to the financial press in presenting the quarterly results. eBay has a particularly competent user experience department, but smaller companies usually find that a smaller usability effort can increase their financial performance materially. Your first usability test will uncover a gold mine of low-hanging fruit, to mix metaphors.

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