YouTube Founders May Provide Custom Magazines

YouTube founders Chad Hurley and Steven Chen may be hoping to do for digital magazines what they did for online video.

Zeen logo

According to Fusible, the duo have launched Zeen, and you can reserve your username for this cryptic new offering that may allow users to create and share custom magazine currations. Zeen announced on April 7:

In the last 24 hours, YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen, who now run AVOS, posted a “Coming Soon” page on the website Zeen (a take on the word zine, which commonly refers to a narrowly focused self-published magazine).

Of course PC Magazine‘s Dave Murphy offers some sage caution:

…here’s hoping the general Internet population doesn’t launch 6,000 different cat magazines once Zeen goes live.

Let’s recall their announcement video having been acquired by Google, and wonder if we’ll see a similar video when they’ve sold Zeen to their former employer, Facebook or Yahoo…

“No Camera” is No Excuse to Skip YouTube Anymore

Sure we’ve heard all of the excuses why you’re watching YouTube but not creating your own videos:

  1. I have nothing interesting to add
  2. I don’t have a camera
  3. I don’t want my life online
Now YouTube has eliminated one of those excuses, giving people without cameras the ability to build videos via animation of existing clips. See more at YouTube Create. So now you simply need a web connection, a pulse, and some free time. Got those?
In other news, YouTube founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley may be cooking up another startup. They’re a bit cash strap given the $340 million they pocketed when YouTube was acquired by Google. To celebrate that possibility, let’s reflect back on their announcement, and my not-so-positive thoughts on the deal in October 2006.

Rick Astley Makes Come Back With “Never Gonna Give You Up”

Rick AstleyWarning: YouTube prank spoiler here. If you haven’t spent some time on YouTube’s homepage today, stop reading immediately.

If you have been there, you might have noticed that each of the attractive thumbnails take you to the same video. Rick Astley’s supah cheesy “Never Gonna Give You Up.” You’ve been “rickrolled.”

My hats off to the person that sold this internally. I’ve watched this video recently, and I’m quite sure I didn’t find it on my own. I wish I could remember where I found it. According to Wikipedia, Around the year 2007, posting mislabeled links to the video on the Internet became popular, in a prank known as “rickrolling.”

I can just hear the discussion at a YouTube “April’s Fool Brainstorming” meeting last week in San Bruno.

  • The prankster: So here’s my big idea. All these captivating homepage thumbnails, but every click goes to Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
  • Stephen Chen: Who? Who’s Ricky Ashley?
  • Prankster: A 1980s star. When were you bor… never mind.
  • Editorial: That would give Astley an unfair advantage above other 1980s musicians trying to lift themselves out of oblivian. Like Weird Al. Then again, he’s big on Revver.
  • Tall, Balding Advertising Guy: It would give him millions and millions of views. Would we charge his agent a CPM or “per click”?
  • Community Lady: Who invited the bald guy with the bad breath? Anyway, I’m not sure people will get it. And they may get annoyed.
  • Advertising Guy: Wait, Goth Lady- can we host the video and take 100% of the advertising revenue? Like we’d just post it on a “house” partner’s account?
  • Stephen Chen: I don’t know. I’d rather go back to the original idea of putting the logo upside down. That smacks of comedic brilliance.
  • Mark Day: Righto, Stephen! That’s hysterical. Upside down logo. Steven Chen pees with Mark DayLOLLOLLLOLLLL. I can hear them now: “hey, is my computer upside down?” Can I walk you to your car. Mr. Chen? It looks like it’s raining again.
  • Stephen Chen: Yes, Smithers. Then it’s settled (he says dismissively, before leaving conference room with Mark Day by side).
  • Technical Guy: I liked your idea.
  • Prankster: Sighs. Well it would have been funny.
  • Technical Guy: Correction- it will be funny.
  • Prankster: Won’t Stephen get pissed?
  • Technical Guy: Nope. He hasn’t visited YouTube in 11 weeks. He’ll never know.
  • Stephen Chen (voice audible from hallway): Mark, I’d just assume you wait out here while I pee. I’m not sure I want the world knowing I drop my pants and undies below my knees when using the urinal.