Archive for Bill Gates

Story Telling is at the Heart of YouTube; the Five Pillars of Content

I’ve been boning up on the newest developments in cyberspace at Social Media Week seminars in New York. This annual ritual is taking place in eight cities around the world with Twitter aficionados tweeting all the goings-on to their followers.

Today I attended a YouTube presentation. It was awesome. I learned there are five primary “pillars” into which most videos fall: informative, entertaining, conversational, useful and inspiring.

The two presenters, Lauren Siegel and Ali Pulver, are creative content specialists at Google, which owns YouTube. “Story telling is at the heart of YouTube,” they said. They called it the “digital campfire” with people gathering to hear new stories every day. The site also has the elements of a “general store” where you can pick and choose exactly what you want from an endless barrel of videos.

Just a couple of mind-boggling statistics and then I’ll move on. People are watching 2 billion videos a day on YouTube and every minute 24 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube. Wow!

Lauren and Ali discussed each pillar and gave examples of how companies and ordinary individuals have developed huge followings.

Informative: Making knowledge more accessible.

One example is Khan Academy with 1,700 videos, 24 million views and one faculty member Sal Khan, the founder. He covers subjects as simple as how to add, divide and multiple fractions. He’s got Bill Gates interested in exporting these learning tools to underdeveloped countries. “How to” videos is one of the fast-growing categories. In effect companies and individuals with a huge number of subscribers are becoming distribution channels for information.

"Conan O'Brien"

Conan O’Brien

Entertaining: Bringing us into new worlds and extending the experience.

One example is how Conan O’Brian kept himself in the limelight until his non-compete with NBC expired and he could get on with his new cable talk show. The vignettes starring the host are really kooky and fun and he dubbed his followers Team Coco. That’s the name of his YouTube channel now where you can see episodes of his talk show.

Live streaming extends access to concerts such as those of the rock group Bonnaroo, sponsored by Ford. On-site attendance at concerts is 75,000, but the live streams reach 43 million viewers.

Conversational: Inviting dialogue and community participation

Toyota turned its YouTube video channel audience into brand advocates with 50 humorous and irreverent videos launching its Swagger Wagon. Millions of viewers tuned in. The You Tube promotion was just once piece of a campaign that integrated TV and other media channels.

Useful: Offering tools for engagement

Seal of the President of the United States

I have to say I was unaware that a few days before his State of the Union Address, President Obama made himself available to answer questions on a wide range of issues submitted by and voted on by YouTube users in “Your Interview With the President” moderated by YouTube’s Steve Grove. Obviously the President understands the power of YouTube in reaching constituents directly, unfiltered by traditional media.

By the way, YouTube offers a nifty tool called Moderator that allows you to “collect commentary, questions, or ideas on your YouTube channel and watch the best ones rise to the top. It’s easy – you bring a group of people together on a topic of your choice, and leverage their collective wisdom to vote on the best video and text submissions.”

Inspiring: Helping us to realize our potential

Lauren and Ali showed the case study of Panacea81, “the everywoman as beauty queen,” as they called her. Lauren Luke, a UK housewife, decided to make a series of video tutorials about how to apply makeup. Sounds simple enough. She now has 448,007 subscribers and her videos have had 104,224,397 views.

Well, if you think I’m giving you a link to visit my YouTube channel, you’re mistaken. That’s my next project. Me, on video? Should I lose weight or get a face-lift? Nah. I’ll just visit the Panacea81 lady for some tips on makeup.

Will a Harvard Degree Boost You to the Top?

[tweetmeme]Well, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg went to Harvard and look where they are now —   founders of Microsoft and Facebook.  But wait a minute.  Didn’t they drop out before graduation?

Both were computer nerds but for sure Harvard didn’t teach Zuckerberg how to build a Facebook community of 500 million people across the globe.  Harvard is a fine university and many of their graduates have gone on to unbridled success in business, the government and the arts.

Community Colleges Beckon

But Harvard and other Ivy’s aren’t the answer for everybody.  What our educational system needs now are different tracks for different folks.  Only one-third of high school graduates attend college and, of those, half drop out before finishing.   So where is the next generation going to acquire the skills to succeed in an increasing technological society?

The answer for many is community colleges. The enrollment of these unsung institutions is 8 million and growing.  They are so important to the future of our country that the administration held a White House Summit on Community Colleges in early October.  A paper they issued touted these advantages of two-year institutions:

  • Affordable tuition
  • Open admission policies
  • Flexible course schedules
  • Convenient locations

Most important, in my view, community colleges are retraining older students to build new skills for an increasingly technological society. It’s exciting that these colleges are working with businesses, labor and government to create tailored programs in nursing, health information technology, advanced manufacturing, and green jobs.

Industry-Community College Partnerships

Many CEOs and other high-achievers attended a community college. One is William Green, who is chairman and CEO of Accenture, the world’s largest management consulting firm with approximately 150,000 employees in 49 countries.

Mr. Green, the son of a plumber, started his academic career at Dean College, a two-year school in St. Franklin, Mass. Now he and his company are giving back.  In 2007, Accenture launched the annual Accenture Junior and Community College Scholarship for students transitioning from junior and community colleges to four-year institutions to continue their education.

10,000 Small Businesses

In an initiative called “10,000 Small Businesses,” the Goldman Sachs Foundation is unlocking the growth and job-creation potential of 10,000 small businesses across the United States through greater access to education, mentors and financial capital.

In a pilot program at LaGuardia Community College in New York, supported by the Foundation, local business owners can learn new skills.  Rosalie Safier, whose family owns National Van Equipment, received counseling and learned the art of negotiation, mastered Microsoft Excel, and developed a business plan for growth.

Skills for America’s Future

At the White House Conference, the administration launched a “Skills for America’s Future” as an industry-led initiative to dramatically improve work force training partnerships with community colleges,  The Gap said it would expand community college partnerships in seven metro areas, including in-store job shadowing, interview and leadership training, and scholarships. Other participating employers are Accenture, McDonald’s, United Technologies and Pacific Gas and Electric.

Collaborating with community colleges is good corporate PR.  But more importantly, these companies are ensuring that they will have the trained employees that are essential for their future growth.

About the Author:  Jeannette Paladino is a seasoned communications pro helping companies to engage their customers on social media, and to leverage their employees as brand ambassadors for their products and services.  Visit her at Write Speak Sell.  This post was written for the Blogging for Education Contest.