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Google’s Schmidt : YouTube has replaced TV. What’s it mean for law firms?

20130504-122412.jpg In a presentation to advertisers this week Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt declined to forecast that Internet video would replace television, Schmidt said, “That’s already happened, the future is now for YouTube.”

As reported by the AP’s Jack Coyle (@jake_coyle), Schmidt explained that YouTube recently passed 1 billion unique visitors. But that’s nothing compared to when the Third World joins in, the number will go to 6 or 7 billion.

Also note that already more 18- to 34-year-olds watch YouTube more than any cable network.

I agree with Schmidt that we ought not just compare YouTube to TV.

It’s not a replacement for something that we know. It’s a new thing that we have to think about, to program, to curate and build new platforms.

Coyne’s right that YouTube is focused on its global reach, community engagement and enormous audience — much more than any TV network or cable channel.

I don’t see YouTube as the network in and of itself. I see YouTube as a place where media (in this case, video) can be stored, searched, and in some cases, watched.

The network, unlike CBS or CNN, is you. Social media, by its very definition, means people receiving media (including video) from others they trust. Media may be received via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or any other social network. We, as netizens, move the media, as opposed to a cable or a satellite network.

In addition, this new media is not mass broadcast. We’re engaged. Engaged by sharing video, commenting on the video (on Twitter, Facebook etc), curating video, and even producing video.

When most law firms think of YouTube, they think of producing video. That’s okay, if done well, niche focused (as opposed to firm or lawyer centric), and consistently. But producing video is not needed to network via video.

I don’t produce a fraction of the content I share on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. But being there acting as an intelligence agent sharing other’s insight on networking through the net has led to business relationships I could never have dreamed of. It’s also led to my being recognized as a trusted authority on business development through the net.

Look at video, whether from YouTube or elsewhere, the same way. Share video, comment on what’s be discussing on video, and produce short topic centric video, whether you’re talking or interviewing others.

Content is the currency of engagement. We need words, pictures, or video to cause engagement and interaction. Look at video, and in this case, YouTube, as currency.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Rego – d4u.hu.