In this article, I want to investigate whether there are, as yet, any clearly discernible trends in the usage of videos being published online.

In particular, for those who are interested in Web 2.0 and utilizing this medium in their efforts to market a business online, I plan to highlight some of the things that you really should NOT do with videos, if you want these efforts to be successful.

Although the idea of putting a video online for the whole world to see is not restricted to any particular group of people, even at this relatively early stage of 2007, it is clear that the next big wave in internet marketing is video based products.

Thus far, either the product itself has been somehow related to teaching the best ways to make and use videos in an individuals own internet marketing efforts, or the training materials themselves were overwhelmingly video based.

Now, I would suggest that for anyone interested in maximising the success of any online business who is interested in using video, there are some very good lessons to be learnt from these IM people.

At the same time, however, within the real world population of planet earth, similar moves are clearly under happening too, and many of these videos are almost object lessons in what not to do!.

You only have to look the skyrocketing popularity of YouTube, Google video and so on to gauge the present extent of this expolsion, and also to understand that there are some very important lessons to be learnt.

Let us look at these non-IM people, ordinary people who are creating videos by the million, to see if we can ascertain what is behind this video wave, what is driving it.

Sit down when you have a spare ten minutes sometime, and take a look, as an example, at YouTube.

Punch in a keyword for your search, and have a look at the results, to see if there is any discernable pattern.

For example, for this article, I ran such a search for ‘headphones’, which returned nearly 700 results.

Browse a few pages of those results, and a few common features about the videos and their makers become abundantly clear:

* The individuals in the videos and those making them, are overwhelmingly young
* The video quality is usually poor, and generally lasts for 20 seconds or less and
* The victim on video is usually doing something that is either funny, or embaressing, depending on your point of view.

What does this tell us about this new video age?

Well, without being too sociologically deep, it tells us that these videos are, basically, the online version of reality TV.

You only have to see how many of these videos are of people videoing themselves, to realize that Andy Warhol was dead on the money all those years ago!

Everyone is, indeed, chasing the proverbial 15 minutes of fame, and they do not, quite frankly, care how they get it!

It also begins to explain the video explosion itself.

Almost all of the videos seem to have been shot using handphones, which allow the capture of thousands of spur of the moment events that were previously lost.

Hence, the shortness of the videos and their poor quality.

And the other thing I noticed from these videos?

The vast majority have had only a tiny handful of viewers, and often, the description or tagline of the video is written as if you, the viewer, are supposed to know the people involved.

As indeed you are, because the vast majority are clearly made by youngsters to show to and impress or amuse their friends.

They are not planned or plotted, they tell no story, and, basically, for the outside world, they have absolutely zero interest.

Now, quite obviously, making a video tp promote your business that no-one apart from your wife or kids want to watch is pretty pointless. In other words, if you are planning to use video as part of a Web 2.0 marketing campaign, these ‘normal world’ videos are an object lesson in what NOT to do!

Not because of film quality, or even the length of the video, but simply because nobody outside a very small group of people would have any reason at all to warch them.

Of the ‘headphone’ videos that I suffered through, only a very small number indeed have any chance of ‘crossing over’ into the mainstream consciousness, and will forever be stuck with 5 viewers.

In fact, on a personal level, I found the vast majority to be squirmingly embarrassing.

We all know that no-one who is wearing headphones can sing quietly or in tune – sorry, kids, that is not news and it is very definitely not funny!

These videos are not in any way interesting, engaging, amusing or educational to the outside world at all.

And that is exactly what you need to avoid at all costs, if you plan to be successful with your efforts to use video to boost your marketing efforts online.