Is a 2-Year-Old Book About Online Video Still Relevant?

We’re at the 2-year anniversary of my book, “Beyond Viral.” You may be interested to know that, until this morning, I have not read my own book since manuscript. It’s downright painful to read something I can’t still edit, and I was terrified that the information would be antiquated or poorly written. But during my one-hour commute this morning, I suffered through a few chapters via Audible’s version of “Beyond Viral” (it’s also on iTunes as a “book on tape”). I cringed far less than I expected — maybe just 3-4 times.

Here’s what I found (although I’m certainly not the most objective reviewer). But see a recent review on SocialBull (with an article based on an interview with the UK publisher) for a less biased POV.

  • The references to 2009 and 2010 research makes me uncomfortable. Fortunately it’s generally not at odds with more recent research, but I just don’t like old data references — especially for a rapidly emerging medium.
  • I use the word “exponentially” too often. StalkerofNalts warned me about that, and that word choice accounts for two of my cringes.
  • I was surprised and happy with the alliteration, dry humor and colorful examples. There were a few places where I expressed myself better than I remembered (takes bow).
  • I noticed a few times that the narrator emphasized key points as I might have done, but also mixed a few words that made me go check the book to see if I flubbed something. For instance, Numa Numa was listed as both a 2004 and 2006 phenomena.
  • I chuckled when I read about my references to “The New Establishment” (digital studios). Like some of the online-video aggregators and players, some of these are now dead and others have emerged. There is no more Next New Networks (since it got acquired by Google). Revision3 is now owned by Discovery. I now like to refer to these as “Online Video Studios” (see ReelSEO article), which have grown in influence quite dramatically since 2010. Most top webstars are not independent anymore, and I wish I had predicted the implication (that hiring webstars for sponsorships is easier but more expensive).
  • The good news? Most of the conventional wisdom still applies — including the strategies and tactics. Probably the biggest change since the 2010 publication of Beyond Viral is the acceleration of pro content (which fortunately I predicted, although I’ve been predicting that prematurely for about 4 years). But that doesn’t have radical implications that are different from the book’s emphasis.

Bottom line: it’s still relevant stuff, if I do say so myself. I wish I could click a button to upload the latest stats and change some of the examples. For instance, at one point I mention AppleTV and DVRs but not Roku. Maybe the biggest surprises in hearing the book is that the landscape has not changed as dramatically as I would have expected. If you had asked me in the summer of 2010 about the book’s “shelf life,” I would not have expected it to be useful in 2012 or 2013.

I think (and hope) I’m wrong.


7 Replies to “Is a 2-Year-Old Book About Online Video Still Relevant?”

  1. As the author I would hope you still find it relevant, we all know you’re making bank off of it.

    Maybe a better question would be, why should I take tips about online video from a guy who doesn’t make videos anymore? Oh snap!

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