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December 2, 2009

The Power of YouTube

Filed under: Main — Dan Gookin @ 12:01 am

There’s power in media. Back in the old days, only the rich and big companies could wield that power. With YouTube, the power is now in your hands.

Occasionally someone asks me, “Can’t you do anything?” The question is regarding some shoddy computer product or tech support. People figure I have some kind of clout with every company and can use my massive influence to help right their wrongs.

I really wish that were true.

As these things turn out, there’s lots of power in YouTube.

As you probably know, YouTube is the place where you can post your home made video efforts. Gazillions of people around the world can then view them. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a video that has thousands, if not millions, of views. The more your video can resonate with people, the better the odds are that you’ll get a winner and become an Internet sensation.

Take the case of Dave Carroll.

Dave is a musician who had the misfortune, as many of us can attest, to have flown United Airlines. If I recall correctly, United’s motto is something like, “We’re too big to give a rip about you and your issues.” Thanks to YouTube, Dave proved otherwise.

The problem: The ground crew at O’Hare damaged Dave’s $3,500 Taylor guitar. He tried to get some resolution from United on this problem, but United explained that it’s their customer policy not to give a shit.

Dave eventually, and at his wits end, told some United bigwig that if United didn’t agree to fix or replace the guitar that he would create a YouTube music video to get even. The bigwig’s response was, and this is rumor, “Good luck with that one, pal.”

The video was released in July. Ten days later it had over 3,000,000 views. That’s not a rumor.

The rumor part continues that, supposedly, the bigwig called up Dave and offered to (finally) remedy the situation if Dave would pull the YouTube video. Dave’s response was, naturally, “Good luck with that one, pal.”

Now that’s the rumor part. The truth is that the video was made, is on YouTube, and currently has over 6,000,000 views. United stock dropped 10% after the video “went viral” and spread around all over. Apparently United Airlines is a popular target for derision amongst the flying public. One can only wonder why.

You can view the video here. It’s really clever and a catchy tune. You can read the Wikipedia article about the incident here.

Just remember: When all else fails, tell that cigar-chomping, don’t-give-a-damn, bigwig that you’re going to do a YouTube video. It might just work in your favor.


  1. Wow! This just goes to show that we don’t need to have connections with ‘important’ media type people anymore to make an impact!

    Comment by Mel — December 2, 2009 @ 8:29 pm

  2. Just a catchy tune!

    Comment by admin — December 3, 2009 @ 8:30 am

  3. It is. 🙂 I also realized that Dave Carrol is from Halifax. He’s a Maritimer, like me.

    Comment by Mel — December 3, 2009 @ 10:13 am

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