youtubeMost video serving websites will look at YouTube with awe and feel hopelessly dwarfed; but could there be anything that actually dwarfs YouTube? As it would happen, YouTube, a site that has a guaranteed lock on about 15 minutes of its viewers’ time every day on average, feels envious of the kind of command the regular boob tube has on people ‘s time that they would not mind spending hours in front of it. The way a small niche YouTube clone site looks at enviously at YouTube’s 15 minute sand thinks “Now if only I could get two of those minutes, what a difference it would make”, YouTube salivates for a couple of hours stolen from television.

It’s not that YouTube lacks the content; they once said that viewers pumped a couple of dozen hours of video every minute into YouTube’s servers. They have the content; they only need a way to help viewers find the things they like, and watch them. It could take YouTube through the the roof. And this barely profitable company could really begin to pull in advertising.

What is the biggest search engine on earth after Google? Well, it’s YouTube search, of course. And YouTube searches are much more difficult for search algorithms to decipher, because there is actually nothing in the videos that actually has any keywords that the algorithm needs. No search engine actually understands the images in a video; they depend entirely on the tags submitted by the uploader. They need all-new approaches for YouTube search; kind of like the data mining that eBay or Amazon use, to give you recommendations based on what you already are known to like. Maybe they need to announce a search design prize like Netflix did, to improve recommendations.

And of course there is negative marking; if their recommendations are often wrong, they could turn visitors off.YouTube and Google figure that they need personal information for this; much, much more than what they have already. They’ll need to spy on your e-mail, look at what you do on Facebook, look at what your friends do on Facebook, before they can get something right.

They figure that perhaps users need to be given a more TV-like experience if they are to compete with it. Maybe if they could get their viewers to relax a little, and have instant gratification like with TV, they could get somewhere. If YouTube could just move away from having users used search to discover videos; if users could just flip through stacks of videos with the minimal buffering wait period, then YouTube will finally have it made.