LonelyGirl Kicking “Herself”

Tim Gideon of PC Magazine wrote an article about a SXSW panel I walked out on yesterday–“What Does the Future Hold for Video on the Internet?” Before I vacated the room, I did hear this exchange, and upon reflection believe it’s worth repeating here.

Kent Nichols, from Ask A Ninja, pointed out that most “user-generated” sites like MySpace own all the uploaded content and can do whatever they want with it, including use your videos for their purposes or police the links you include on your page.
Nichols seemed to think that companies like MySpace and YouTube were succeeding very well at tricking people into basically giving them content. The creators of LonelyGirl—the YouTube phenom from last year—are, according to Nichols, kicking themselves for using YouTube as their launch pad instead of just using the YouTube player and embedding it on their own, separate site. Why? Now everything they do involving LonelyGirl must pass through YouTube.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Interesting to see where this will go.

  2. These sites aren’t “tricking” users into giving them content… In fact, what sites like MySpace and YouTube provide is the AUDIENCE. This doesn’t mean they can’t have their own websites and build an audience there as well, but who doesn’t want the exposure of the MySpace or YouTube audience.

  3. I agree, John. I see MySpace (and a host of others) as a good place to build one’s brand preceisly because that’s where the audience is. I think Ninja Nichols does have a point though. His point is don’t do it exclusively on one of these mega corporate sites. His Lonely Girl reference suggests that the majority of the traffic for that “brand” is on YouTube, so the creators can’t monetize they’re work like they might have otherwise.