Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

YouTubing–Kara Visits Offsite

Please see this disclosure related to me and Google (owner of YouTube).

This morning I visited and spoke before a gathering of some YouTube staffers who were meeting offsite (a favored activity of dot-commers, because being onsite apparently squelches fresh thinking) in the tony W Hotel in downtown San Francisco.

The aim of the meeting was to talk about, of course, how the toddler of an online video service, which was bought recently for the massive sum of $1.6 billion by search behemoth Google, was going to actually make money. Despite its success in attracting giant audiences, who are also content creators for the site, YouTube’s Job No. 1 is now figuring out how to monetize its fare.

This is, despite the heft and experience Google gives it in the online ad space, going to be no small problem to solve, given the short format of much that is on the site, and also that a lot of the content is completely unsaleable (though interesting) user-generated content.

And, of course, there is the little matter of the $1 billion lawsuit waged by media giant Viacom over copyright infringement issues that is hanging over the company’s neck.

Also, to add to the pile, let’s load on all that competition cropping up by everyone from the big media conglomerates to those Skype guys with Joost, all aiming to unseat YouTube.

But, hey, they’re super-duper smart, right?


Now that I think about it, YouTube’s challenges would make a great series of little videos on, well, YouTube. It could be done via Webisodes in the genre of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon “The Perils of Penelope Pitstop,” many episodes of which are free to one and all on YouTube (see just the fabulous opening below featuring Penelope’s patented switchblade running style).

Even though the cartoons are owned by the Cartoon Network, which in turn is owned by Turner Broadcasting System, which in turn is owned by Time Warner. Oops. Better get Larry Lessig on the GooglePhone! (Wait, that’s just a rumor. Not.)

But here is another short little movie I made, which is 100% owned by me (or rather Dow Jones, now that I published it), although YouTubers are welcome to it. It features YouTube sales head Suzie Reider and David Eun, who oversees content partnerships for Google.

Latest Video

View all videos »

Search »

I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik