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Youtube- could it be used for research?

January 22, 2007

Last week Nokia’s design group posted to YouTube, some interesting scenario videos, highlighting some ideas they had about the future of mobile communication.

These are the kind of things that might be shown to analysts or at trade shows, so it was good to seem them being made available to a broader audience, but that could be the problem.

The videos get posted up onto YT where they compete for attention with a gazillion others and because they aren’t entertaining, they go to the bottom of the pile. Not one of these scenarios is going to be a hit.

The view counts aren’t too bad- 6-10k, but no one is commenting!

Being buried under a gazillion videos doesn’t help Nokia.

It needs to find a way to get this material to the right people so they can generate valuable feedback.

It needs to find the right channel and it also needs some kind of incentive to generate contributions.

Nokia needs to ask itself a few questions:

1. Why are we doing this?

2. Who do we want the input from?

3. What’s the best way to find those people?

4. What incentive would we be prepared to offer?

The issue is as simple as a contextual mismatch, people have an expectation of YouTube content, they are going there to be entertained, don’t deliver this and it’s hard to get viewed.

So you either re-formulate your content or find a new way.

Perhaps Nokia should have seeded the story and highlighted the incentive with key gadget and phone blogs- like- Engadget and Gizmodo and driven relevant traffic to the videos.

It’s clear that You Tube has the potential to be a powerful research tool for brands, but not as currently configured. Brands need tailored and specialized environments where conversations can be moderated and there can be interaction between the design team and consumers.

Being open and sharing your content is cool, but it’s even better if you find a good way to get some dialog going, You Tube isn’t there yet, but it could be.

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