Ed Cotton at Influx has a great post on why Youtube & Flickr have had enormous success. They epitomize brands in today's longtail environment that not only embrace community but have higher goals than pure capital. That in turns translates in sales. Sneaky huh? Ed has put together a couple insightful similarities. For the full article check out their site.
1. Do Something Better: Find a way or a better way for people to do something they want to do- in both these cases- it's sharing digital assets
2. Believe in What You Do: It's not about a money making/get rich quick scheme. You believe there's a better way and you are going to work it out. Success is a by-product of doing good.
3. Community is Everything: Listen to your community. This is not a one way conversation- there's on-going dialog relating to "policing", standards and ideas
4. Be Soulful: Even if you sell, like Flickr, don't sell your soul. The honest, no frills approach is right. Interestingly, while many thought the Yahoo purchase would lead to the the demise of Flickr, instead, they turned out to be much more of an influence on Yahoo than could have ever been predicted.
5. Be Authentic: These companies look like they have banned or never even heard of the phrases "brand strategy" and "marketing plan?. The lack of corporate polish adds to the feeling that there are real people behind the idea.
A lot of this reminds me of "young" companies hungry to make their mark and do things their way. Inevitably companies change over time, as capital increases often they lose their aggressiveness and need to innovate. Friendster the first social networking site is a blip compared to myspace these days, will Youtube be around in 5 years?