YouTube Goes Widescreen (16:9)!

“Is it just me, or has YouTube gone widescreen?” Just do a search on youtube wide in Google and you’ll get an endless list of blog posts (including this one). YouTube has apparently changed all videos on its site to play in widescreen by default, and not the standard ratio of 4:3. They’ve had the option to go widescreen in the past, but now it’s their Default. As a result, most of the videos have these horizontal black bars on the sides. Check out JagerBomb video to see what I mean. (Take note, that is how Jager Bombing is supposed to happen!)

According to the YouTube Blog article Bigger Isn’t Always Better… But in This Case, We Believe It Is, this is what they had to say:

“Over the years we’ve heard a lot of feedback from you about what you’d like to change about YouTube, and the size of our video player is always top of mind. That’s why today we’re excited to announce a bigger YouTube player. We’re expanding the width of the page to 960 pixels to better reflect the quality of the videos you create and the screens that you use to watch them. This new, wider player is in a widescreen aspect ratio which we hope will provide you with a cleaner, more powerful viewing experience.”

I’m not really sure what they’re doing. Maybe they’re playing the game of ‘catch up to the competitors’. Just a few days ago YouTube went Live! and now they’re going Widescreen. According to TechCrunch “YouTube is by no means the first video site to go widescreen – (my favorite YouTube alternative) has long had the feature. And as the comments point out, sites like Vimeo and SmugMug already offer video in HD”. (TechCrunch)

You know what doesn’t make any sense? When you embed the video on other sites, it maintains the 4:3 ratio! Well, one thing is for sure, YouTube is making improvements and the world is noticing!

Posted under Online Video, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 25, 2008

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You Tube Live: “From Rumor To Reality!”

YouTube is launching its first ever live streaming event that will celebrate it’s endless list of user communities. Part concert, part variety show and part party, YouTube Live will bring together some of the amazing videos and unforgettable individuals that have contributed towards making the site what it is today. Expect to see Internet-born stars like Soulja Boy Tell’em, Esmee Denters, and “Canon Rock” virtuoso Funtwo, a global b-boy showcase featuring dancers from the movie Planet B-boy, Discovery Channel’s MythBusters and lots more.

But one thing is still unclear. Why did they call it a “Live Streaming Event“? Isn’t this more than event? Isn’t this the luanch of Google Live!? That’s the thing…nobody knows for sure. Here’s my time line covering YouTube Live from the first time it was mentioned until now:

  • January 2008: First rumored on the popular blog,  when Robert Scoble asked the Chad Hurley (co-founder of Youtube), “Is YouTube working on streaming video?”. Chad responded, “We’re working on a lot of interesting things…” (watch the video here).
  • February 2008NewTeeVee published a video taken by video-blogger Sarah Meyers asking Steve Chen (CTO & co-founder of youtube) “When are you guys gonna do live video on YouTube?” in which Chen responded:
    • “2008. We’ll do it this year. Live video is just something that we’ve always wanted to do, we’ve never had the resources to do it correctly, but now with Google, we hope to actually do it this year.” (watch the video)
  • October 3rd 2008:’s Blog anounced that “YouTube will be hosting an event called YouTube Live in San Francisco on November 22 which (as the name implies) will be streamed live on its site”. ( That same day, Gawker Media blog Valleywag also anounced YouTube is going live after all. But they also supported Michael Learmonth’s position saying “Google and YouTube won’t necessarily be offering live streaming video to users of the site any time soon.”
  • October 22nd, 2008: AlleyInsider goes ahead and publishes a followup to their August article with a new one titled YouTube Launching Live Streaming Service — Or Something.  They claimed a source was telling them that “someone personally involved in the YouTube Live! event on November 22 […] specifically described it as Youtube’s Live launch.”
  • November 19th, 2008: Well here we are! In 3 days the Youtube Live! event is taking place. Will this be the “official launch” or just a one-time-thing?

Posted under Online Video, Social Networks, Viral Marketing

Super-Model Heidi Klum Takes Guitar Hero World Tour “Super-Viral”!

If I have learned one thing about marketing this year, it’s that GOING VIRAL WORKS! Everybody’s fighting to get consumers buzzing about their product. Whether it be on Video Sites, Forums, Social Networks, or mouth-to-mouth…Buzz Marketing Matters! This probably explains why Guitar Hero paid Heidi Klum to dance in her underwear for :40 seconds on TV!

That’s right! To promote Guitar Hero’s World Tour release, they released a number of video’s sporting celebrities imitating the famous scene in Risky Business (1983) where Tom Cruise dances to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll” in just his underwear! Maybe we can learn something from this type of branding+viral marketing+super-model!

My friends at Viral Video Chart have put this at #7 for Viral Videos, but it’s a Friday and I don’t think Obama video’s will entertain you like this. The video was discovered November 4th, and in just 3 days jumped to 1,199,076 views and 111 (well, now 112) blog-posts!


Posted under Online Video, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 7, 2008

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GMail For Mobile Phones is #1 Viral Video!

“Viral Video of The Day” is part of this blogs timely Friday Tradition, as provided by my friends at  They  marked an interesting #1 video for today.  So for all of you marketers and mobile junkies out there obsessed with your PDA and e-mail, you’ll love todays Viral Video of The Day:

Introducing Gmail for mobile 2.0

That’s right! A geekie video made it to #1…and with reason. For all of you using PDA’s, the proprietary email application can be quite plain (static, no html, courier new, etc.). Well, this is probably more applicable to “Blackberry Users”. Well, today’s viral video promotes Gmail’s Phone Application. The guy’s kinda funny in the video, in a geeky google kind of way. How this made #1 for the day, I’m not sure…

Posted under Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 25, 2008

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Viral Videos Of The Week: Simpsons vs Movie Stars

As part of this blogs timely Friday Tradition, “Viral Video of The Week” will become a regular thing. This week I’ve decided to include 2 videos for 2 reasons. The first reason is because it’s a “Friday” and that is self explanatory. The 2nd reason is because both videos have 1 thing in common: The 2008 Elections! Their popularity is due to their humorous approach to what the number 1 thing on  America’s mind right now. All stats and info can be found at  According to them, both videos have been “spreading across the interweb like Wildfire!”…
The first Video, Homer Simpson Tries To Vote For Obama, was found to be the #1 Viral Video Of The Day according to
  • Discovered 01 Oct 2008
  • 283 blog posts

The 2nd Video,  5 Friends Uncensored, is #2 Viral Video of The Day:

  • Discovered 01 Oct 2008
  • 340 blog posts
At this point you should be asking yourself, “How is #2 if it is has over 20,000+ more views and 50+ more Blog Posts than the Simpson video?”. I’m not sure either, but while I go ahead and contact ViralVideoChat, check out the video below:

I sent an e-mail to both Scott & Matt of UnrulyMedia, the creator of this site and this is their response:

“We rank videos based on linking and sharing on the web rather than views – similar to how google ranks sites on it’s search engine.

Partially we do this because it’s information that is standard across sites (the definition of a view varies from site to site) and is a bit harder to manipulate and partially because that’s the way we’ve always done it…

Hope that explains it!

So there’s the answer! Now go drink and enjoy your Friday!

Posted under Online Video, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 3, 2008

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