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Posted
11 December 2006 @ 7pm

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YouTube and Loyalty in a Web 2.0 World

David Cohn writes (via Scripting News):

The strength of YouTube isn’t the mass of copyrighted material and television shows, many of which have been purged. Rather, it’s the loyal community of viewers and users who upload content. That’s what Google was buying and what other media companies don’t have.

But, as he rightly points out at the end of that post:

People know where they can go to upload content and my bet is that their loyalty will remain with whatever video portal gives them the best tools to upload.

And that is the crux for any website these days. My impression is that there is very little loyalty in this new Web 2.0 world. If a better product comes around, I just move somewhere else. For example, maybe I liked using Newsgator or BLoglines at one point, but then Google Reader comes about and offers me a better experience. I export my OPML file and take it to GoogleReader. That’s it. No more, no less. Would take me less than a minute to do and I would never look back.

Maybe my photos look good on flickr right now – maybe Google’s Picassa web albums will be more useful next year. So I take my pictures there.

I think what a lot of the web 2.0 crowd doesn’t get is also that a lot of people don’t want to be part of any community – their community is their family that maybe looks at their video – and you can send a link to anything to anybody. No loyalty there (not ever to email – you could just as well send an IM ).

So here is the problem – how do I keep my users if there is no loyalty? Features; ease of use, including easy import and export; and constant innovation.