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The Gulf of Mexico oil spill that has oil giant BP scrambling to save its brand -- and possibly its entire business -- has been juicy fodder for those involved in PR and marketing. Of particular interest: how the company is responding to the onslaught online.
From crisis communications experts to social media gurus, just about everyone has suggestions for BP. But what about BP's internet strategy overall? I decided it was worth a high-level look at the company's efforts to stem the tide of online criticism.
Google's big foray into primetime television advertising during this year's Super Bowl was arguably quite the success. Its Parisian Love ad, which wasn't even designed for Super Bowl, was one of the most well-received ads shown.
The internet search giant is apparently so fond of its creation that it's giving everyone the ability to create their own Parisian Loves using a nifty new YouTube tool called Search Stories.
The average 16-year-old girl may not be able to afford bespoke shoes, but that doesn't mean that teenagers can't help promote a site that makes them. Earlier this month, etailer Shoes of Prey reached out to a young teenage vlogger from Tennessee to try out their product and enter her viewers into a contest to win a pair of shoes.
A self-professed "Haul Queen," Blair Fowler (aka Juicystar07) created a sponsored video that went on to become the fifth most viewed video on YouTube worldwide. And the video is still paying dividends for the online startup.
Less than a year ago, video giant YouTube announced that people were uploading 20 hours of video to the site every minute. They encouraged users to upload even more. Today, they've announced that a full day's worth of content is uploaded per minute.
And finally, YouTube is in a position to monetize those videos.
Major music labels often depend on the album sales of their most popular artists to counter the production costs for other musicians they work with. But online, viral views do not always translate into album sales. That's one of the reasons that EMI and the band OK Go have decided to part ways this week.
The split opens up new possibilities for OK Go, but leaves open the question. What will labels do when their most popular artists decide to take the middle man out of the distribution equation?
As part of its constant rollout of new formats and features, YouTube has come up with some widely varying ways to grow its popularity and profitability. But today's announcement also has the opportunity to do some good. Starting this week, the video giant will start giving all videos on the site access to its auto-captioning technology. This is good news for the hearing impaired. But also, it will eventually lead to better searching and advertising opportunities on the site.
The battle between Adobe Flash and HTML5 is a subject that looks like it will be receiving a lot of attention in 2010. That has a lot to do with the iPad, which, like the iPhone, isn't expected to support Flash.
Some believe HTML5 could kill off Flash (and for that matter Silverlight), others don't. Of course, the full HTML5 spec probably won't be finished for another decade, but the debate over HTML5 and its impact on Flash is heating up because subsets of it are available and being adopted.
Video and SEO are not a match made in heaven. Sure, you can title videos and tag them to make them more findable. But unless they're surrounding by plain dumb text (ambrosia to search engine spiders and crawlers), online video just isn't that findable.
A time-honored and time-consuming solution to video SEO has been the dreaded transcript for videos that are heavy on the spoken word. But transcription is a tedious and resource intensive task you'd hesitate to assign to even the lowliest intern.
Google's on the case -- perhaps trying to solve the problem in an unexpected way.
The Super Bowl may be the biggest event in sport (except, of course, everywhere outside of the U.S.), but everyone knows that the battle that occurs each year on Super Bowl Sunday doesn't take place on the field. It takes place during the commercial breaks.
The battle for consumer hearts and minds costs a lot of money, and it increasingly involves the internet, which is where much of the buzz about Super Bowl commercials can be found.
Online video gets a lot of attention, but while the YouTubes and Hulus of the world typically attract the spotlight, more and more companies are developing their own strategies around online video.
Benjamin Wayne is the CEO of online video solutions provider Fliqz. I spoke to him about the ways companies are using online video, self-hosting and video SEO.
When Google purchased YouTube for $1.65bn in 2006, many questioned whether it could turn YouTube's popularity into a big business.
Just over three years later, the answer appears to be 'maybe'. Google has made a lot of progress building an ad-supported business model for YouTube, but that alone might not be enough if YouTube is to realize its full potential.
2010 is a big year for the world of sport. Later this month, the Super Bowl will air, next month the Winter Olympics will begin and in June, the World Cup kicks off.
One player will be taking part in all of these events: social media.