YouTube awards – How are we different from YouTube?

This question could be considered a total joke. After all we don’t belong to Google and our critical mass is a little bit smaller. The only thing the we really have in common is that we are both hosting a video award. Well, here are my two reasons why we really are quite a bit different (not just smaller) than YouTube:

1. Prizes
Poor YouTube didn’t give the winners anything but an award. Apparently it wasn’t within their budget to pay a little prize. We think it is only fair to pay the winners a little bit of cash for their efforts and for submitting their quality work.

2. Jury vs. Popular Vote
YouTube awarded some videos in seven categories this week based on their popularity. That sounds like a good idea honoring the “power to the people” concept of the Internet.

As much as I like grassroots organizations I have seen a number of cases where it doesn’t exactly work out. Is anyone following American Idol right now? Did you see how some of the better singers where voted off the show by the audience and some candidates are still on there that hardly match the in-the-shower singing of my daughter?

One of my favorite books “The Wisdom of Crowds” by James Surowiecki makes a strong case for enabling crowds and relying on the outcome of their decision.

Maybe the crowds should get what the crowds deserve?

We took a slightly different route with our moviebakery web video award: We are inviting everyone to participate. We will review the videos submitted and will pick the winners and top runners by ourselves. We will then submit all the top videos to the leading video portals (not just YouTube) and see if the crowds will like our vote. They could prove us wrong in various different ways: 1. All the top videos flop online and fail to catch attention. 2. The #5 or #10 video could become more successful than the winner. 3. They could submit their own videos beating the contest videos in popularity.

We would be happy with scenarios 2 & 3 because in the end we would still get people to deal with the global warming issue – and that’s what this contest is all about. Of course we would also like scenario 4: Our top picks becoming the top runners on the web as well;-)

Could you imagine what could happen if YouTube would use their power to take on a good cause. For instance democracy in China? Ooops, they can’t really do that since Google blocks non-conforming websites in China. They can’t really do something about global warming either, since that could offend the same government they are working (too) closely together with.

I guess that leaves it to the other guys to take some action.

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