Steve Rubel argued yesterday that web site traffic metrics are increasingly irrelevant "So debating which sites drive the most traffic is really meaningless."
I think he will eventually be proved right, so I agree with his assertion that we need a new way to measure Internet activity. One primary reason for this is that content is becoming radically decentralized, so it is no longer nearly as important to drive people to a given location on the Web.
Google’s recent announcement that they will include YouTube videos in their AdSense advertising network will go a long way toward decentralizing video content. Video content providers will be able to earn money by placing their videos in the network and web sites will be able to earn money from hosting the ads.
If you want to get me going on a rant, bring up the fact that many organizations prohibit embedding of their video. As I’ve said before and I’ll no doubt say again, prohibiting embedding is nearly always against the content provider’s best interests.
Most local television news sites now host videos of their broadcasts but most also prohibit embedding of that video, offering a simple hyperlink as their concession to "sharing." But the conversation happens elsewhere, primarily at blogs or other online forums. Bloggers would happily embed newscasts when discussing current events. Embedded newscasts provides easy and free product placement that builds brand awareness for the local network affiliate.
Happily, Google has just provided monetary incentive for content producers to allow embedding of their videos and that should help spread the love.