GooTube and Yougle – A Cautionary Tale

Disclaimer: this post in no way reflects the author’s seething jealousy over two guys who had a pretty good idea being made insta-billionaires by two other guys who had a pretty good idea, and are already billionaires.

Flannery O’Connor wrote a story, and then Shriekback made a song out of it: Everything that Rises Must Converge. Here’s the thing: imagine every potentiality as a sphere, and moving up or down said sphere a scale of success, of fulfillment of said potential; were that sphere a globe, you and I and most of the rest of us would be hanging out around the equator. Maybe Southern Florida. Google and YouTube would have razed and gentrified Santa’s workshop. They rise, they converge. They become one at the pole.

Disclaimer: the former was an extremely poor analogy illustrating a principal I only somewhat grasp. But do you get what I mean? It was, in the world of near-cartoonish financial wherewithal, inevitable.

So what’s the verdict? Is YouTube going to be completely filled up with ads? Yeah, probably. Will you have to endure a 30-second OxyClean ad in order to see 15 seconds of a sixteen year old from Akron poorly parody Lord of the Rings? Yeah, probably. Will the cognoscenti, en masse, leave YouTube in a flood of reverse-bourgeois outrage? Nah, probably not.

Is there a cognoscenti?

Go into an SEO forum, any SEO forum, and you’ll see about 1.65 billion posts ranging from rabid anti-capitalist rants to equally rabid pro-capitalist “Yay, Google!” diatribes. Either GooTube is going to fail miserably (see: cognoscenti) or Yougle will enjoy success unparalleled at any point in the history of the world (see: the rising, the converging).

OK, you want to hear something scary? I predict neither; I predict it was maybe kind of a bad investment, but not really horrible. I predict a gradual loss of interest, an unseemly and somewhat sad lingering in the shadow of something better. I predict a withering up, an eventual uneventful shelving away. I predict an eventual “I Heart the 00’s!” (how do you even pronounce that?) with somewhat attractive comedians/actors/etc. you’ve never heard of saying things like, “Remember YouTube? Where else would you spend 30 seconds watching an OxyClean ad to be able to watch 15 seconds of a sixteen year old from Akron poorly parodying Lord of the Rings? Ha ha ha!”

It’s like what’s going to happen to MySpace now that it’s been invaded by parents and realtors.

Now that’s scary.