TelevisionWeek contributing writer Daisy Whitney is blogging about the pinnacles and pitfalls facing viewers who want to consume television in new ways. Check in frequently as Daisy kicks the tires on the new media juggernaut and dishes on which services do -- and don’t -- make the cut.


Trial and Error

NBC Works Better on YouTube

January 19, 2007 2:20 PM

As I was checking out viral videos yesterday on Youtube, I found one posted by NBC. The video is a great spoof on cell phones and the new iPhone from Apple. You can check it out at

Since the clip comes from “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” I hopped over to NBC.com to see if I could find the video there too.

And you know what? You guessed it.

Impossible to find.

The video player took forever to load. And when I clicked on the link for the show, I was unable to find a link for “Conan” clips. Nor could I find a promotion or link for the video on the main page.

The networks could learn a lesson from YouTube. It’s still the easiest site in the world to view video on.


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Comments (6)


Conan did a great job with the Horny Manatee, which grew out of a joke on the show. I think this is a good example of how the Big Networks are moving in the right direction.



That Horny Manatee piece was a good one...Leonard, what do you think networks could do to make their sites as easy to use as YouTube is?


not sure YouTube's success is because of usability. YouTube did a swell job of riding the MySpace rocket-ship to hitville. They also accelerated video discovery via RSS, or what Jason Calacanis calls "Really Simple Stealing".

The real YouTube usability innovation is micro-chunking. We can skip the 58 minutes of SNL that isn't funny and watch "Dick in a Box". The opportunity for the networks is to to burn an ad into the micro-chunk, allow it to be syndicated and shared freely across the internet and then measure audience accordingly. In my humble opinion, the most usable site is one that I don't have to visit.



I agree on the micro-chunking concept and that YT gives us the chance to see the "best of." In many ways, YT can be like a greatest hits. I still contend though that the site has been a big success in large part to how easy it is to find and view clips. Some of these sites just make it too tough. I don't have the patience or interest in waiting around for video to load or rooting around in the dark corners of a site to find it. On YouTube, I don't have to.

Marianne Paskowski:

Hi Daisey,
I've been following this posting with great interest. YouTube is the best, but I don't know what is gunking up my computer on other applications. What do they do that is better than others? Everything I do on YouTube is a snap. The others, well, are not. Should I defrag, whatever that means?



Hi Marianne:

Great questions. Truth be told, I don't defrag. I don't claim to be a hardware or spyware or anything like that expert. So take this for what it's worth. Here's my approach as someone who mucks around with a lot of video applications. I apply a ruthless strategy when it comes to deciding which applications to keep on my computer. I'll download most new video players and services, such as Amazon and Veoh. But if they don't play well, I delete them immediately. So I only leave on my computer the services that work and that I use. Maybe on the control panel you could go to Add/Remove programs and see if there are applications there you don't just often that you can afford to zap. It's my zero tolerance policy and it's left me with basically just iTunes still installed. As for YouTube, the secret sauce is YT doesn't make you install funky players or anything. It just plays right there -- super simple.


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