YouTube Gets Interactive With Annotations

How do you get online video viewers to interact with the clips they’re watching? Well, if you’re posting your video to YouTube, you can now use annotations.

With YouTube’s Video Annotations, you can:

  • Add background information about the video.
  • Create stories with multiple possibilities (viewers click to choose the next scene)
  • Link to related YouTube videos, channels, or search results from within a video
  • All of the above!

The annotations don’t appear to let you link to non-YouTube content–which would be awesome for companies hoping to direct visitors back to their website–and they also don’t appear in embedded versions of video.

If you want to see the annotations in action, watch this magic card trick video.


Google Pimping Big Ad Spender Trademarks

Several major Google advertisers seem to have adopted a common war cry – “Get these pigs off of our backs!”

The tactic is called “piggybacking” and major corporations are tired of Google pimping out their valuable trademarks to smaller companies.

With piggybacking, smaller and lesser known advertisers use a large corporation’s well branded and recognized trademarks in an effort to enhance their ability to draw more qualified traffic from Google Adsense listings. The problem is not a new one. In fact, it has been occurring for several years despite Google’s written policy against the practice.

The question is “If Google has a policy against the practice, why does it continue to occur with such frequency?” Can you say – Moolah? Yes, the “do no evilers” at Google seem to be turning a blind eye, lest they disrupt that free flowing revenue stream called Adsense.

Pilgrim’s Picks for June 3 – Late, Late Edition

I know it’s late, but these Picks appeared towards the end of the day, and just would not wait until the morning. Enjoy!

  • Google’s lost another exec. This time, YouTube’s head of monetization, Shashi Seth, is leaving the company for start-up Cooliris, claiming, "Google got a little big for me."
  • Microsoft today announced the release of adCenter Desktop Beta–a desktop version of its ad campaign management tool.
  • Microsoft, again. This time it’s released a Web Page Error Toolkit to help optimized 404 error pages.
  • Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft have joined together to standardize the way each handle the Robots Exclusion Protocol (REP). Although, each still have their own unique robot exclusions as well–which they don’t seem to agree on.

Icahn, Shareholders Want Yang Out of Yahoo

Two strikes against Yahoo chief Jerry Yang: there appears to be a growing movement to take him out of the top position at Yahoo.

Carl Icahn, who received approval to purchase more Yahoo shares last week, already attempted to file a proxy slate to replace the whole board, which would have included ousting Yang. Although his efforts have been rebuffed thus far, Icahn continues to fight the good fight, according to the Wall Street Journal today.

Mr. Icahn . . . said in an interview that he will seek to remove Mr. Yang if his effort is successful. In the next day, Mr. Icahn said, he plans to make a public statement highlighting his concerns about the actions of Mr. Yang and the board.

Wikia Allegedly Getting Better… Allegedly

A post at TechCrunch today boasts that Wikia is “beginning to suck a lot less.”

The wiki based search product is supposedly stepping up its game through the implementation of editing features that lets searchers reorder, add, remove, rate, annotate, and comment on results.

These new features make the system harder to gain, and spammers easier to oust.

Jimmy Wales admitted to the lack of quality his site has shown and stated that it:

Pretty much sucked. It has not been usable on a day to day basis.

The thing that really strikes me about is that the top result for every search is a Wikipedia entry. As search marketers know the first listing garners over 40% of the overall search traffic for a term. Doesn’t this make feel like a Wikipedia search engine, more than a wiki based search engine?

Younger Generation Wants More Depth from the News

In a global world we have easy access to news that happens anywhere in the world within minutes or hours. I’ve noticed more people my age (in their 30s) say they simply don’t watch the news. Rather than a constant reminder of problems that are so large and remote that it overwhelms them, they tune it out. Or, like me, I get most of it from Yahoo news or from blogs.

What about the younger crowd, how do they view the news? The World Editors Forum recently took place in Sweden and cultural anthropologists looked into this question. The Associated Press (AP) and Context-Based Research, an ethnographic research firm based in Baltimore, presented on their study about how young adults around the world read news (PDF).

Internal Yahoo Docs Show Google Partnership is an Act of Desperation

Do desperate times really call for desperate measures?

It does, if you’re a company facing a hostile acquisition by Microsoft!

Just one day before Microsoft made its bid for Yahoo, executives dismissed any notion of partnering with Google on search ads. According to Reuters:

Bracing for employee questions over whether Yahoo should outsource its search-ad sales to Google, executives were prepared to argue that any short-term gains would derail Yahoo’s long-term push to become a "must buy" for advertisers.

"Short-term analysis of the revenue potential of outsourcing monetization may not take into account the longer term impact on the competitive market if search becomes an effective monopoly," an excerpt from the company document said.

Just a week or two later, Yahoo had reversed course and announced it would seek a partnership with Google.