I always look forward to Jane Hart’s Top 100 tools; I like to see what new tools people are using and how they use them. It’s a bit different this year with a more diverse number of tools. That’s one reason I want to get a user group together to test out some of the new tools.
What surprised me was my immediate negative reaction to noticing the number 1 tool this year. When I saw it was YouTube I immediately felt disappointment and a little bit of anger and couldn’t quite work out why. A day later, I think this is down to a few reasons…
Firstly, it seems that Twitter is no longer king. I love the way Twitter connects people and the fact that Twitter is no longer top of the shop made me wonder if there’s a movement away from connectivity. Is it sounding a bell for connecting platforms in general, a reaction against Twitter, or have people just had enough of social? I’m not THAT surprised that Twitter has lost it’s top spot as it seems to be struggling to understand its place and the way it has been adopted as a primary tool for reporting current events has turned it into something which I’m not entirely comfortable with.
The shift to a content hosted platform concerns me. I noted that YouTube needs to be used with care as there’s a lot of content on there; 300 hours of video uploaded every minute means it’s almost impossible to find stuff which meets the demands of being new, relevant and of the right quality all at the same time. I understand that the cream generally rises, but that can take time and to the person searching for the right video, to fix an issue right now, a problem. Search for ‘Excel dates’ to understand how to format them in cells for example and you’re faced with over 60 thousand results. If the average user rarely scrolls past the top 4 or 5, how many videos will they watch from the 20 presented to them on the first page of results?
Lastly, have you ever left a comment on a YouTube video? Below the line is a dangerous place as anyone who has seen Adam Buxton’s Bug will confirm. I’ve found few comments sections on YouTube as places for informed and objective debate and so can’t describe YouTube as a social tool if people feel less inclined to comment, interact and discuss.
Am I wrong? Does a shift to a video platform represent a move from networks and communities? Is it representative of higher expectations and ease of content distribution? Let me know in the comments and if you’re interested in joining a focus group to test out some of the tools on Jane’s list.