No other news story in 2009 can be bigger than the announcement today that the Swedish crown princess Victoria is getting engaged to entrepreneur Daniel Westling. When Expressen broke the story this morning, media and blogs have been buzzing about the rumours until the news were confirmed at about 2 PM. It was announced that the king and the government approve of the engagement, as is required by the constitution. The wedding will take place in spring of 2010 and will probably be an event of such magnitude that it will have a positive impact on the sales of tabloids and gossip magazines during the coming year or so.
But the really interesting aspect from a communications point of view is that while the website of the Royal Courtcrashed under the pressure today, the announcement was also broadcasted via YouTube.
The British Royal House has had an official YouTube channel for more than a year, but I’m still surprised that an institution as old and conservative as the royal family is able to dive in to social media in a way that most commercial enterprises are not even near yet. I’m sure it wasn’t announced on YouTube first, but either way: very well done. So, the king is on YouTube, why aren’t you?
– At least 30-40 percent of the video clips on the list are there on the initative of readers who have influenced me and given me tips, said Strage in DN.
Strage is always an entertaining writer and one of the leading music journalists in Sweden. Unfortunately I haven’t paid much attention to his Youtubiana list, but others have. Most of the blog links to the list comes from competing daily Svenska Dagbladet who even copied the format with its own top 33 YouTube moments from the political scene. And I like how SvD have been entirely transparent about where they got the idea – “this is a concept we stole from Fredrik Strage but applied on our favourite topics”. Today SvD congratulates Strage, adding (tounge-in-cheek) that it must mean that the SvD blog is the winner in the rip-off of the year category.
So you can say there has been progress in a journalistic sense on several levels. Not only that the award goes to a journalist who uses the readers to co-create the content, it is also purely online based content. On top of that, a few years ago you would never see a competing paper copy a concept like that and then openly give credit back to the original, with links and all. Something truly has happened to journalism.
As expected, YouTube today opened up a Swedish version of the site. A launch video is posted on the site in which a number of celebrities welcome YouTube to Sweden, including Google’s Chief Internet Evangelist Vint Cerf; Mona Sahlin, leader of the Social Democrats and Ulf Ekberg of pop combo Ace of Base. The video is also promoted on the front page of the Social Democratic Party webpage (!).
For some reason YouTube has made it very hard to embed this launch video and it took me a while to find the embed code.
What the video does not reveal is how a Swedish version is any different than using the global site. Everything on the site is still in English, a language most Swedes handle very well.
On top of this, the launch video is suddenly unavailable. Probably temporarily, because as I type this the video comes back up, becomes unavailable again, then up again.
The most popular YouTube video of all time has been viewed more than 103 million times. It’s got almost 302,000 comments and 267,000 ratings (average rating 4.5 out of 5). Those are amazing numbers especially considering that the video has embedding disabled, so the file can’t easily spread across the web like most other YouTube videos. The video is the hit song Girfriend by Canadian pop princess Avril Lavigne and it was uploaded on February 27, 2007.
ReadWriteWeb writes that among the 10 most popular YouTube videos ever, 6 are music videos by professional musicians, 2 are comedy (professional comedians), 1 is a Spanish love story, and 1 is a Swedish amateur video with the baby William who just can’t stop laughing. That video has to date been viewed 62 million times and has 84,000 comments (average rating 5 out of 5).
YouTube yesterday launched local sites in nine countries: Brazil, France, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Poland, Spain and the UK. The video site will also be adding sites in more countries within the coming months. The domain www.youtube.se was registered on June 4, 2007 so if that’s any indication Sweden might be up next.
One in two PR executives are not doing their job properly. A survey of more than 1100 PR executives from agencies and corporations in the US and UK reveal that 49% of respondents don’t even monitor blogs. Furthermore it says that:
“63% have not adapted their communications strategy to include proactive outreach to blogs, message boards, and other forms of digital mediums.”
Blogs are fairly easy to monitor and there are a number of free tools available. Next things to watch are wikis, social networking sites, Second Life, YouTube etc that need to be on PR executives’ radar.