28 December 2008

Video surge drives social networking

As we hurtle headlong through the cultural and technological revolution that is ushering in our digital age, we find video is touching the lives of more people than ever before: on screens and monitors, through cameras and phones, at home and at play, in business and public administration. Nowhere is video more ubiquitous today than on the internet and it is incredible to consider that YouTube was launched barely three years ago. With 36 percent of US Internet users downloading video streaming online by the end of 2006, up from 28 percent at the end of 2005, online video has replaced music as the key driver of growth in digital media, and social networking is fast emerging as the "dominant online behavior", according researcher Ipsos. By last June, online traffic using web browsers overtook file-sharing peer-to-peer networks for the first time:
"Chalk it up to YouTube and other Internet video sharing sites. The surge in HTTP traffic is largely a surge in the use of streaming media, mostly video... YouTube alone has grown so big that it now accounts for 20 percent of all HTTP traffic, or more than half of all HTTP streaming video."
From an advocacy, publicity and marketing perspective, the viral video has opened a vital new channel for organisations to reach a younger, ever-more eclectic public.

3 November 2008

ABC Unleashed: Race Invaders

Michael Hutak writes about our responses to the globalisation of that distinctively Australian event, the Melbourne Cup...
Cup Day, and Cup Day only, commands an attention, an interest, and an enthusiasm which are universal and spontaneous, not perfunctory. I can call to mind no specialised annual day in any country, whose approach fires the whole land with a conflagration of conversation, and preparation, and anticipation and jubilation. No day save this one.
Mark Twain, Following the Equator (1897)

When Mark Twain attended the Cup in 1895, Melbourne's population was barely a million and yet 10 per cent of the colony's population turned up that day to witness the event, a remarkable turnout. With Melbourne's population today roughly 3.5m, the Cup is only now again approaching the sort of mass appeal it enjoyed at the turn of the 20th century.

11 October 2008

ABC Unleashed: The Meltdown Cup

When John Howard dedicated his government to transforming Australia into the world's greatest share-owning democracy, the sly fox was tapping into that kink in the national identity that we love to gamble. That the nation "stops" for the Melbourne Cup is often cited as key evidence in this claim. But if the share market maintains its current trajectory, Cup Day may roll around to find a nation already dead in its tracks.