Who is winning the video race?

Lots of attention is being paid to a recent story by Bambi Francisco at Marketwatch (on a completely unrelated note, Bambi Francisco is one of my favourite names, as I may have mentioned before), in which Ms. Francisco reports that MySpace has eclipsed YouTube when it comes to numbers of video clips shared.

According to statistics from ComScore Media Metrix, 37.4 million individual users watched more than 1.4 billion video clips on MySpace in July, which put it ahead of YouTube, Yahoo and Google in terms of unique video streams (Yahoo was actually ahead in terms of actual users who watched video, with almost 38 million, but it only served up about 800 million clips during the month). ComScore says that July saw a mind-boggling 7.2 billion video streams viewed.

But wait. Blogger Greg Sterling notes that Hitwise has completely different numbers. In August, Hitwise says YouTube was by far the bigger draw, with more than 45 per cent of the traffic to Internet video sites. MySpace came in a distant second with 23 per cent, with Google Video at just a little over 10 per cent. VC Confidential has some thoughts about the difference in stats between Hitwise and ComScore, an issue that has come up more than once in the past.

Meanwhile, Microsoft has launched its own would-be YouTube killer known as Soapbox. In related news, Yahoo has bought an online video-editing startup called JumpCut.

Who killed Dead 2.0? It’s a mystery

I know the blogosphere has a short memory (except for Dave Winer, of course) but does anyone here remember Dead 2.0, that skeptical blog written by an anonymous guy who went by the name The Skeptic? He took potshots at various bubble companies and A-listers such as Mike Arrington at TechCrunch, and subjected new Web 2.0 services to the “Ask Skeptic’s Mom” test.

Then Nik Cubrilovic, who is the CEO at Omnidrive but also a friend of Mike’s, wrote a post in which he said that with only a few minutes worth of work he had identified The Skeptic as a senior executive at a technology company. The Skeptic posted a single post after that, as far as I can recall — in which he asked people whether they thought he should be “outed.”

When I checked it, the overwhelming majority said that they thought it didn’t matter who he was, a view I agreed with along with others, including my friend and fellow tech journalist Mark Evans. Well, for the past few days The Skeptic’s blog has returned a 509 error — bandwidth limit exceeded. Did Dead 2.0 just become too popular for The Skeptic’s limited hosting service, or did he decide to drop it? Or did his company make him stop?

The mystery continues.

The apple does not fall…

For some reason, the photo below captivated me when I came across it at Flickr, after following a link from somewhere I can’t remember right now. It’s a snapshot from the space station in orbit, with “space tourist” Anousheh Ansari looking upwards at an apple floating in the air above her.

space station

The look on her face is one of pure joy (the fact that she is attractive probably helps with the captivating part, I will admit). Is that look worth the $20-million or so she reportedly paid to get up there? Someone will have to ask her I suppose. The shot was posted to Ms. Ansari’s blog, where she also talks about the camaraderie among the astronauts on the space station.

Clinton and Wallace — video at 11

I don’t write a lot about politics on this blog, for a bunch of reasons — including the fact that I don’t really know that much about politics, and the fact that I don’t really care that much about politics — but I feel compelled to mention the recent interview between former POTUS Bill Clinton and Chris “I’m wearing my dad’s hairpiece” Wallace on Fox. Wallace tried to pin Clinton with a question about why he didn’t do more to stop Bin Laden, but the wily Southern grappler turned the tables and got all medieval on Wallace’s ass, rhetorically speaking.

clinton

But that’s not really the interesting part, I don’t think (although I have to say Clinton showed a lot more fire than I had associated with the man previously). I think it’s fascinating how in the not-too-distant past, we would have been forced to either take Fox’s word for how the interview went — using their carefully selected clips — or take the word of Clinton fans with their clips. Instead, if we want to, we can simply watch the entire interview on YouTube (or Google, since YouTube got the old “notice and takedown” message from Fox) and decide for ourselves.

I think we’ve all gotten kind of used to that idea, but I would still argue that it’s a very powerful thing. More here.

Wayne and Garth get financing

Garth: “Did you ever find Bugs Bunny attractive when he put on a dress and played girl bunny?”

Wayne: “(cracks up laughing) No!”

Garth: “Neither did I… I was just asking.”

I realize I’m not the only one who has made the connection between Kevin Rose and Alex Albrecht of Digg and Wayne and Garth from Wayne’s World, but I figure I have just as much right to use that analogy as anyone, since Mike Myers and I are both Canucks and I live about six blocks from the high-school he went to in Toronto. So there. Party on.

Plus, the picture in the New York Times piece on how the Digg boys are branching out into video pretty much cries out for a Wayne’s World reference. Two shaggy-haired twenty-somethings sitting there with bottles of beer, laughing their heads off at something — the only jarring difference is they have laptops on their laps instead of a cheap electric guitar, and their jeans don’t have obvious holes in them (oh yes, and no baseball caps).

Is it a business? Sure sounds like one to me, with $100,000 in revenue per month right out of the gate. In fact, it might actually be a better business than Digg, ironically. Of course, if it doesn’t work out they can always blame on those darn meddlesome kids (otherwise known as the Scooby Doo ending).