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Frozen Iguana Videos are the Future of The Miami Herald's Website

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You may or may not care about the future of the struggling newspaper industry and how they (or, well, we) hope to put a greater emphasis on online multimedia features, but perhaps you would like to know that "The number one video on MiamiHerald.com last year got about 26,000 views and was a feature on how to handle frozen iguanas." That's from a Poynter article celebrating the, uh, relative "success" of the Herald's recent push in online video. Should 26,000 people watching a video on touching frozen lizards actually be considered a success? Yeah, sadly, probably. 

According to Poynter, The Herald has seen a 25 percent growth in video traffic in the past year, and videos are now their second highest source of traffic behind, you know, news articles. Yet,  26,000 isn't exactly a lot by web standards. Just peep the last few YouTube videos you've watched. In my case that includes this bizarre wrestling match (336,323 views), this Portlandia sketch (123,208), and the recently uploaded trailer for Bridesmaids (24,856 views).

Of course, the Herald's iguana triumph is for views on their website, and not the ever popular YouTube. Interestingly the video was seperately uploaded to YouTube where it only got 2,997 views. 

On their YouTube page the Herald's most watched video is "Miami Heat Welcome Party" which garnered 325,694 views. Not to toot our own horns, but all of this pales in comparison to the New Times' most watched video on YouTube of all time: the 749,913 view garnering "Paula Deen's Pants Fall Down at South Beach Wine & Food." New Times pride.

Of course, 26,000 views on your own site where you control the advertising compared to 325,694 on YouTube where you make little or no money may be more profitable. And that 26,000 seems pretty good when you consider that you can't embed videos on other sites from the Herald's onsite player. 

Though, it'd be interesting to know what the average page views for a Herald article that receives front page placement gets to know how much of a success it was by their standards. 

In any event, expect the Herald to further tinker in the world of online videos. As for us, as of know, we only have a casual YouTube habit. We haven't turned out a video for nearly a month, and our last one is some girl playing guitar in front of my cubicle (interesting in case you want to see what the front of my cubicle looks like). The Herald meanwhile turns out 14 videos a week. Maybe one day more than 26,000 people will actually watch  one of them. 

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