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The Biggest Trend in 2011? Our Continued Laziness.

Why do you think YouTube is the  #2 search engine in thw world? Did you know that it was? Some of you might not know but are you surprised by that statement? Did you know that as of March 2010, 24 hours of video  is uploaded to YouTube every minute? Here’s some perspective for you. Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance video has been viewed over 328 million times since it’s release. Why do you think that is? Entertainers aside, there is a reason we like to watch videos. Here’s another story for you.

Awhile back, Alex Iskold wrote about a conversation he had with a friend about his son, he mentioned that his son accesses the web through YouTube. At first, he thought he was joking.  But then realized he was not. Whenever his son needed any information, he would open up YouTube, type in the search term and then just watch the videos that showed up as matches. He never Googled anything; he never went to any other site; his entire web experience was confined to YouTube videos. YouTube as a search engine. Video as a search result. Video as a trusted search result.

“A whole channel for sharing and connecting to the biggest word-of-mouth platform in the English language.”-Time Ferriss

Why does YouTube work? Because we’re lazy. We would rather someone entertain us with information than have to sift through search results. I know it sounds crazy but sifting through search results requires more reading, more computation of the results, more of an understanding of what you’re looking for. With Video,we don’t need to turn a page, we don’t need to keep reading and clicking for the “real result”, all we have to do is look at a screen grab, a title that’s compelling to us and go. slim to none of brain power.

Kids no longer learn about the world by reading text. Like the television generation, they are absorbing the world through their visual sense. But there is a big difference. Television was programmed and inflexible. YouTube is completely micro-chunked and on demand. Kids can search for what they need anytime. This is different, and powerful-YouTube is the next Google

This isn’t really about laziness but there is a degree of truth to it. You see we are an entertainment obsessed culture, we like our senses piqued. The endorphins it releases. We dig 3D, we like our content packaged. Words are boring, text is bland, black and white sucks and video rocks; and adding a gaming element to it just makes it that much better. I don’t think anyone anticipated YouTube being known primarily as a search engine, let alone the #2 search engine behind Google, but clearly the masses have spoken. Google buying YouTube awhile back might have seemed curious to some but now it looks like a brilliant move. Who knew?

At thend of the day we still do ALOT of searches on everything. How that search result comes back though, determines action. The less work we can do the better. Let’s click on a video instead. Does video still give us the search result we need? It’s debatable but it’s changing. Why do you think WOM as an accelerant works so well in the context of search. Less work. If a user can be spareed the leafing through of 10 “gamed” search result pages in lieu of asking someone who “knows” or watching a video of someone who knows-all the better. Laziness?

Or is it being more effective and efficient with our time?

You watch…

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8 Responses to “The Biggest Trend in 2011? Our Continued Laziness.”


  1. 1 Gabriele Maidecchi January 3, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I had a classic “wow” moment here, I mean, it all seems natural once I read this post. Video plays a major role in content fruition, now more than ever before, and the possibilities linking it to search are amazing.
    I guess the people at Google saw this potential a while back.

  2. 2 edward boches January 4, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Not laziness in every case. My young daughter is an emerging magician. She learned all her tricks on YouTube. The opening dance routine at the Oscars last year were Internet trained dancers. YouTube isn’t about laziness, it’s about learning from each other. To label Lady Gaga the epitome of YouTube is a narro interpretation.

  3. 3 Tihomir Petrov January 4, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    The correct word is “lazy”. We would like to receive the information but not to read it 🙂

  4. 4 marc meyer January 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    @Tihomir Perhaps Lazy is more of a harsh word than perhaps, “wanting to cut corners”…

  5. 5 marc meyer January 4, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    @Edward Not labeling her as the epitome, merely observing an obsession with entertainment, sure we can learn from video, and perhaps even more so if done right but at the end of the day, it’s leap frogging the written word…

  6. 6 marc meyer January 4, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    @Gabriele, G might keep “missing” with it’s attempts at social but it knew what the potential was of YouTube..

  7. 7 Jim Burns January 8, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    Video is really sound with pictures. The value is in the sound. The pictures are support. Audio captures and holds attention, explains complexity and nuance. Video is more interesting than just audio. Just an important tool in the communications arsenal. 2011 is the year for a new approach to marketing and sales video vignettes, in a big way. See SFDC and their over 3,000 videos as a primary marketing vehicle.


  1. 1 5 ways your web copy can satisfy lazy people (that’s most of us) | Think Tank Trackback on May 31, 2011 at 9:00 am
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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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