YouTube 'monkeyvision': NOT the end of TV advertising

The Wired buzzword-meme-jargon incubator delivers another Web 2.0 slogan: 'monkeyvision,' and acknowledges the coinage, to boot! What phenomenon is being coined? Who is coining it?
Written by Donna Bogatin, Contributor

The Wired buzzword-meme-jargon incubator delivers another Web 2.0 slogan: “monkeyvision,” and acknowledges the coinage, to boot!

The name for this thing is monkeyvision. Eh? Monkeyvision. Pretty good, huh? How nice it must be to have big, slick magazines coining catchwords for the phenomenon you created.

What phenomenon is being coined? Who is coining it? “YouTube and 'The End of TV Advertising,'” according to Bob Garfield

What is “monkeyvision”? Garfield effuses over a typical YouTube snack-sized clip culture video to illustrate: 

What the hell, live dangerously. Type in ‘sweet tired cat’ and watch a drowsy kitten dozing off. The clip, which was viewed nearly 2 million times in two weeks, is 27 seconds of such concentrated cuteness that you might actually have a stroke and die. It’s that excruciatingly adorable.

What inspired Garfield's monkeyvision?: Garfield puts forth: 

It’s said that if you put a million monkeys at a million typewriters, eventually you will get the works of William Shakespeare.

Really? “Said” by whom? The Garfield punchline: 

When you put together a million humans, a million camcorders, and a million computers, what you get is YouTube. 

Or, a million people “uploading their asses off,” to YouTube, as Garfield puts it.

Garfield's monkeyvision essay is similar to YouTube’s snack-sized clip-culture; entertaining and easily digestable, but ultimately unfulfilling. 

Although Garfield headlines “The End of TV Advertising,” he only offers up YouTube’s change in ownership in support of the pronouncement: 

That upheaval would require a couple of things to fall into place; 1) a business model to convert what is basically an overgrown fan site into an actual advertising medium and 2) a tectonic change in the worldwide media economy.

But don’t sell Google short.

Garfield may not be selling Google short, but Google itself has fallen short in its diversification efforts, as I put forth earlier this week in “Google’s “1 Percent”:

Google’s search juggernaut and Wall Street triumph lead many to believe it is inevitable that Google will succeed in all that it undertakes. By Google’s own acknowledgment, however, its diversification efforts to date are underwhelming:

‘Revenues realized through the Google Publications Ads Program, our radio advertising efforts, Google Video and Google Checkout were not material in any of the periods presented, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, November 8, 2006, Form 10-Q.’

Google $ 48 billion Print Ads test: fourth time’s the charm? 

Google $20 billion Audio Ads: Not a radio test! 

Why Google Sponsored Video is Google business as usual

Is Google Checkout desperate?

Google using YouTube to displace the TV ad market? Google has not made a satisfactory go of its own Google Video, hence the acquisition; A large (but fickle) user base was the main attraction of YouTube. 

Garfield acknowledges the Google YouTube challenges, in his monkey-centric way. Monkeyvision is:

no easy banana to peel…There’s the basic question of where, exactly, to put the ads...a lot of those upload monkeys have a nasty habit of posting clips from TV shows…which are somebody else’s property.

Garfield’s grand monkey finale:

Why advertise next to some sad sack’s weird shenanigans? Simple. Because it’s not just shenanigans. It’s monkey business.

Editorial standards