So I was reading through my RSS feeds this morning and there is quite a bit of chat about Video. Google’s blog Welcome to the future of video got me thinking about the video series I remember being obsessed with for a short while in 2007/8. I’ve spent the best past of the last 30 minutes searching around Google and YouTube and my old notebooks from 2 jobs previous trying desperately to find the name of Girl Friday. Alas I cannot find the video online any more, I had been dealing with the company that made it (and starred in it). It was funny and self-affacing. There were characters played by high profile Australian comedians, a woman, who I also can’t remember the name of. The only mention of it I can find was on a mobile video blog that announced BigPond had purchased the Girl Friday series for their exclusive 3G mobile video content.

KateModern was the spin off of Lonelygirl15 - video series

KateModern was the brain child of the makers of cult series Lonelygirl15 - video series

Some other online video series I found a little more easily – I remembered one had “Kate” in the title, so I was able to find a reference to the Bebo series Kate Modern. KateModern was born out of the makers of LonelyGirl15 – which was a bit different, it was posted as though it was a real life video blog from a 15 year old girl, LonelyGirl15 but it turned out to be a staged, scripted series. There was some outrage but others were impressed by this new medium of entertainment that was emerging. As of the 18th April 2008, LonelyGirl15 was the most subscribed YouTube channel in the world. Anyway, KateModern wasn’t a spin off, it was a new series but it was much darker and suspenseful. Where LonelyGirl15 helped you understand what a voyeur you are, KateModern brought out your sadistic side.

There were more but I don’t have the time just now to search for them, 4 years ago is really stretching the memory banks. But what else I do remember about that time was going to the Portable Film Festival at the Museum of Sydney. This was the first time I’d heard of Al Gore’s Current TV which had launched in America. This was the pioneering site for user generated video reporting, what is best symbolised now by CNN’s iReport. While this type of consumer or user generated content is not always the quality we’re used to seeing in our news and entertainment broadcasting, we are often pleasantly surprised. I myself am incredibly impressed by those who take it on their own initiative to use these channels as an avenue to launch their career, those who tell a story they think the world needs to see despite the danger to themselves and others who just are inspired and motivated to share. I don’t consume much of this media, but I think I should make a bigger effort to appreciate their efforts.

So that was really what I wanted to say, to remember some ground breaking video content that was emerging in 2007 and probably earlier but that’s when I first became aware of it.

So while I’m here I’ll direct you to Jeff Bulla’s blog where he has listed 50 interesting facts about YouTube. Below is a summary of the ones I found particularly interesting (didn’t know).

#2 YouTube was initially funded by bonuses received [by the founding members, who all worked for PayPa] following the eBay buy-out of PayPal

#4 The inspiration for YouTube as we know it today is credited to two different events. The first was Karim’s inability to find footage online of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction,” and the second when Hurley and Chen were unable to share video footage of a dinner party due to e-mail attachment limitations

#9 Google paid $1.65 billion for YouTube in November 2006

#12 The longest Video ever on YouTube is 48 hours (2 days!)

#22 More video is uploaded to YouTube in 60 days than the 3 major US networks created in 60 years

#42 Users like Machinima, MysteryGuitarMan, Fred, collegehumor, and UniversalMusicGroup have millions of subscribers [these are current video series]

#48 The most watched video (that is not a music video) is “Charlie Bit My Finger” with currently 317 million views.

And one last fact, not only are user generated videos and consumer video views going great guns but IAB Australia CEO Paul Fisher said “Online Video advertising is the fastest growing online format in Australia,  and standardising the most common areas like VAST and VPAID will support the growth from the forecast $50m in 2011 to $200m in 2014.” Of course, that doesn’t mention any statistics about ROI or whether it is best used for branding and awareness or if its an effective acquisition channel. But hey, its good to know. Video is growing everywhere.

Do you know of some other video or YouTube series that are not mentioned here, please do tell us so we can check them out.