YouTube Suckage Syndrome

YouTube under Google has been one long disappointment since the acquisition was announced last October. Where is the innovation, a better video converter and upload process, kick ass search, integration with other Google services?

Google seems to have been more concerned with copyright takedowns than creating a service that raises the bar for compelling content and integration of video into other services. And let’s face it, the takedowns are getting more outlandish as time goes on, from the 15 year old kid in Australia sending a fake takedown request to Universal demanding a woman’s video of her toddler dancing to a Prince song be taken down. Bottom line on the takedowns is that they are redefining fair use out of copyright law and it’s killing the service.

The video quality (as in technical quality as opposed to quality of content) is lagging on YouTube when compared to other services, such as MotionBox and DailyMotion, and that’s not even taking into account the remixing tools available on that service. Much of the video is itself poor quality and there’s not much they can do to improve it, but shouldn’t mean the technical capabilities only rise to the level of the lowest quality.

YouTube Streams is pretty cool but I’d really like to see this on top of a presentation service but that’s nowhere to be seen. SlideShare is a new service that does this and much more, and does it with a UI that beats the pants of anything YouTube is doing.

The social features that YouTube provides are stuck in 2004 with comments becoming unmanageable after a few dozen and a ratings system ridiculously easy to game. The search features, which should be a slam dunk for Google, are primitive and don’t facilitate effective video search.

The copyright takedowns alone are killing this service and with Google having such deep pockets to plunder it’s no surprise that we’re seeing this become the most popular new feature in the service. Personally, I’d like Google to stand up and assert fair use but I’m not optimistic we’ll see that happen.

PS- The CNN*YouTube debates were lame. In fact, the YouTube preoccupation with politics is lame…

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4 thoughts on YouTube Suckage Syndrome

  1. YouTube’s value is not in the technology, it’s the domain- it is the default, must-use location for video online. Yes the other services you mention have better quality but they aren’t going anywhere, brandwise.
    Google didn’t buy traffic or content, they bought
    And frankly, the average person viewing these videos doesn’t have any expectations regarding quality.
    Finally, the amazing Democratic YouTube debate was probably the best brand awareness event I’ve ever seen and the quality was fine. It tells me something that only two Republican candidates have signed on for their version- these guys simply don’t get it (or it scares the bejeezus out of them!)

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  3. Martin,
    the CNN YouTube debate was lame because of the inane content of the questions, the vapid responses, but mostly because CNN picked the questions.

    Did you learn anything new about the candidates? If they were to hold it again would you make it a point to watch? C’mon, the only reason people in technology fawned over this exercise is because it was the first time it was done, and the fact that Democrats did it and they generally get majority support in all segmeents of high tech (especially at Google).

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