NBC Universal today launches its new comedy "broadband channel," DotComedy. The site is an interesting reflection of YouTube in a couple of ways. On the one hand, it's a pretty obvious effort to entice users into enjoying NBC Universal-owned content under the NBC Universal tent as opposed to elsewhere. According to the press release it will focus on original, Web-only series, shorts, and pilots, and will also include clips from NBC's network library. User generated videos will be part of the equation as well, though this is not yet live (and its terms of service not yet apparent):
Shoot and edit now, and get ready to upload your best videos soon. When? When we're good and ready, that's when. You're not my mom, you can't tell me what to do.
Written in a similarly cheeky vein is the DotComedy blog, Totally Viral:
That friend of yours — the one who always manages to send you links to the funniest, sickest, weirdest, stuff like, before it gets plastered all over the d*#m web? He's totally going DOWN.
We're spending our days scouring every nook and cranny (especially the crannies) of the Internets to bring you the freshest funny we can. Totally Viral sifts through the vast mountains of digital crap so you don't have to.
As that description suggests, the blog incorporates clips — largely on YouTube — and images elsewhere on the Web. I'm always enthusiastically behind business sites that point to and talk about other sites (particularly competitors), but I suppose the DotComedy companion blog is an example of the guerilla marketing extreme to which this can go: i.e., NBC Universal is affirmatively leveraging YouTube as part of its bait to attract YouTube's users. (It's certainly possible this is by mutual agreement and/or design.)
Overall: this looks like a promising effort, but could be improved by not trying so hard to be cute and/or edgy, and by engaging the online community in ways beyond simply capitalizing on users' willingness to share their own clips.