Internet Videos as Game Changers

I’ve been getting more into social media recently, specifically Internet videos. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not looking to become a Youtube celebrity. I’m more interested in how social media, like Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, can create genuine social change.

How so? Well, just looking at raw data for Youtube videos, social media probably has the biggest potential for being the quickest way to reach the most number of people. That means if you’re trying to push for social change, what better way than to use Internet videos to get your message across. Here are some current stats from Youtube:

2 billion views a day
3rd most visited website
Localized in 23 countries across 24 different languages
15 minutes average spent on the site each day
24 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute
70% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the U.S.
1700 years it would take you to watch the hundreds of millions of videos on YouTube

Moreover, this year 66.7% of Internet users (or 147.5 million people) are watching online videos and that number is expected to rise to 77% by 2014 (or 193.1 million people). This number becomes higher (>90%) when you just look at people between the ages between 10 and 40 years old. When you add that up with 500 million Facebook users and 100 million Twitter users, that’s a lot of people. Obviously not everyone is going to watch your videos, but even if you just tap into a small percentage of that audience, it’s still a couple hundred/thousand people.

The world of medicine has been slow to adopt the use of social media. But hospitals like the Mayo Clinic and UCSF have jumped at this opportunity and embraced social media. Mayo Clinic this past summer launched their Center for Social Media that uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to build better relationships and communication between physicians and patients. UCSF has launched a social media fundraising campaign to raise awareness and money for its children’s hospital (also known as UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital). It uses Facebook, Twitter and YouTube to encourage people who compete to generate the largest number of donations, rather than largest dollar amount donated. This gives each team an incentive to target all potential donors, putting a school or service club on equal footing with a corporate executive. UCSF has already received $400,000 in donations from over 1,400 donors, including prominent leaders from Silicon Valley as well as celebrities such as Ashton Kutcher and MC Hammer. As a reward, the top two teams get to name a room at the children’s hospital.

As the number of people and organizations using social media increases, platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Youtube will no longer be used simply for social purposes. Just this past week, Jumo was launched as a social network hub for non-profit organizations. I feel that embracing the use of social media will help these organizations stay ahead of the game, stay more connected with their supporters, and create genuine social change on an even bigger scale. Whether you are a large urban hospital or an individual physician, social media will be a game changer for how we practice, do business, and make this world a better place.

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