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uTube.com Business Stalled by YouTube Purchase Hype 202

Posted by timothy
from the series-of-goo-filled-tubes dept.
prostoalex writes "Google's acquisition of online video sharing site YouTube.com resulted in massive traffic headed to uTube.com, "the number one supplier of used Tube & Pipe equipment in the world!", according to the site. CNN Money reports: "The company, which sells used machinery for making tubes to clients worldwide, has seen its site utube.com knocked off line by millions of online searchers looking for video site. "It's killing us," said Ralph Girkins, president and owner of the 22-year-old business. "All my worldwide reps use our Web site. Customers all over the world use it to bring up photos of the machinery, descriptions and specifications there."""
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uTube.com Business Stalled by YouTube Purchase Hype

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  • by cbcanb (237883) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:20AM (#16419963)
    On top of that, now Slashdot links to it...
  • and now we /. them (Score:5, Insightful)

    by notanatheist (581086) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:20AM (#16419967) Homepage
    Good job y'all. They're already complaining about traffic and you link to their site?!
    • by tttonyyy (726776) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:56AM (#16420173) Homepage Journal
      Worth noting that the professionally edited article at CNN links to everyone concerned except utube.com. At least they engage their brains before publishing stories.
      • by Xtifr (1323) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:35AM (#16420425) Homepage
        Well, actually several, but mostly it boils down to the utter lack of editorial standards. Bad grammar, bad spelling, slashvertisements, links to semi-literate amateur blogs for stories carried by decent, high-quality sites, and ... sheer idiocy like this. I enjoy slashdot. It's an interesting diversion. And I've been around for a long time, and I still haven't given up on it. But the complete and utter lack of editorial common sense or professionalism is simpy infuriating at times! I would miss slashdot if it disappeared, but there's no way I'm willing to pay for something this poorly produced. And that's the bottom line.

        However, at least this time I can be proud to announce that I did not RTFA! :)
        • I think this is a newsworthy story. It points out a trend towards the creation of innocent victims on the internet stemming from simple confusion - a great weakness of the internet as I see it. This is supported by numerous lawsuits about trademark infringments and the domain "squatting" problem found on domain names very close to popular sites - all important stuff. The posts are often, nearly always, written up by slashdot readers and no one claimed they were professionally done, thats why they all start
      • by Farmer Tim (530755) <roundfile@NospaM.mindless.com> on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:04AM (#16421173) Journal
        ...professionally edited article at CNN...[snip]...At least they engage their brains

        Two firsts in the one day!

        (Someone had to say it. But I agree they made the correct decision)
      • the cnn article doesn't link to any of the websites in the article. (they are only linking to cnn stock quotes for the respective companies.) For some reason, traditional news websites such as cnn.com and nytimes.com never link to the sites their articles refer to.
    • by russ1337 (938915)
      >> "They're already complaining about traffic and you link to their site?!"

      Now would be a good time for them to sign up for Google ad-words. ((never too late)

      1. Have your site mistaken for someone else's because Googles purchased it
      2. Start to recieve 'way to much' traffic that causes DDoS
      3. Increase your bandwidth and sign up for Google ad-words
      4. Profit!!! off the company that 'caused' the problem.
      • by russ1337 (938915)

        --- I mean adsense ---

        that is why i'm still in the '???' phase of making money - I have no clue.
      • Um.... They're selling the stuff that they're talking about on their site. If you can't find what you're looking for on the site, they want you to call them.

        Having a dozen links to your competitors scattered around your webpage sounds mildly ineffective to me, but then I'm a picky kinda guy sometimes.
        • by russ1337 (938915)
          do i have to explain everything...

          Put the adsense in a separate frame loaded with with hidden 'video' related words.
  • by arun_s (877518) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:22AM (#16419977) Homepage Journal
    they're now at /.
    Poor guys.
  • Tubes (Score:5, Funny)

    by Grr (15821) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:22AM (#16419983)
    Well luckily he has enough tubes for all those internets!
    • Well luckily he has enough tubes for all those internets!

      He must be planning to pipe the unwanted traffic down the /dev/drain.
  • Oh, come off it. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kris_J (10111) * on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:23AM (#16419985) Journal
    Take the link out of the story, seriously.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by SetupWeasel (54062)
      Seconded. Why is that modded funny?
    • Take your self righteousness elsewhere. Its only money we arent killing kittens. This is all part of the fun that is slashdot.

  • by kjart (941720) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:25AM (#16420003)

    Obviously, utube.com will be Google's next aquisition - just look at how much traffic they get!

    • by xant (99438)
      I suspect this will not entirely peter off once the news of the acquisition fades into memory, because YouTube.com will be a popular site for a very long time to come. "uTube.com" is a fine alternate domain name for the video site.

      Google should offer them a bunch of money for "uTube.com", because it has value to Google, but it is a pure liability for the pipe sellers.
  • by future assassin (639396) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:37AM (#16420085) Homepage
    While you can. Might as well score some cash from the traffic.
  • by aiken_d (127097)
    The site seems to be performing fine. Maybe someone's just taking the opportunity to get their company in the news. Nothing wrong with that, of course.

    -b
  • Oh, boo hoo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by catbutt (469582) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:41AM (#16420097)
    If they can't figure out a way to profit from this, too freakin bad for them.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by TaoPhoenix (980487)
      Plus, how could they not see this coming?

      DilPerson: "Gee, Boss, we're an obscure vendor of plumbing piping with the same name phonetically as the devastatingly popular video site. One of these days we're gonna get slammed. Can I have $1000 to set up a couple backup servers?"

      Pointy: "Nah. They're looking for videos, not plumbing, right?"
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by leonardluen (211265)
        according to whois utube.com has been registered since 1996
        youtube.com has been registered since 2005

        i think when they first made their website that was the last thing they were thinking about.
  • by NZheretic (23872) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:42AM (#16420103) Homepage Journal
    Let Jon Stewart Explain [youtube.com]
  • It's 2006 (Score:2, Funny)

    by Centurix (249778)
    It's the year of the tube [ewetube.com]
  • Deja Vu (Score:5, Funny)

    by tttonyyy (726776) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:45AM (#16420127) Homepage Journal
    And how kind of the slashdot editors to link to utube directly, just to rub the slashdot salt into the wounds.

    (I can hear their servers weeping in the corner right now).
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Gulik (179693)
      (I can hear their servers weeping in the corner right now).

      Oh, they're not weeping -- that sound you hear is the server's molten case dripping out of the rack.
  • Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Arwing (951573) on Friday October 13, 2006 @02:48AM (#16420149)
    You know, MLB.com had this problem a few years ago when it was owned by some law firm. Their solution is simple, have a really simple front page saying "If you are looking for the video site YOUtube, click on the link,
    if you are looking for used hardware, click on Utube

    It will save them some trouble in the short run, but my question is shouldn't this be happening all along since youtube is popular BEFORE google decided to buy it out?
    • by Lehk228 (705449)
      before that most interested people were at least semi-literate and could copy down something they have seen and repeat it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Peeteriz (821290)
      The issue is that if the site gets promoted electronically, then the name/link tends to be correct.
      But, if the issue is promoted on TV (like it was with the google buyout), then people just hear the name "youtoob" and with the trend of naming things iThis, eThat, it's quite likely that these people think that it should be written uTube.
      Noone is going to make the mistake if they get the recommendation in writing - via e-mail, IM, etc - then YouTube can't be confused with uTube - but they do sound the same.
      • by anagama (611277)
        I'll admit it -- first time I tried to find youtube after _hearing_ about it from a friend, I went straight to "utube". Now, I'm no Einstein, but I don't drool on my shirt all day either.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by aussie_a (778472)
          I don't drool on my shirt all day either.

          You would though if you owned a shirt.
    • shouldn't this be happening all along since youtube is popular BEFORE google decided to buy it out?

      Once Google bought YouTube, it hit the radar of investment bankers, who can't spell.
  • by Animats (122034) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:00AM (#16420207) Homepage

    Their site is fine now. Their equipment, though...

    They're a surplus machinery dealer, and much of their equipment has seen hard use followed by neglect. The neglect is worse than the hard use. This lathe [utube.com] is a good example. That's a good Monarch precision lathe, but the picture, taken in 2000, shows considerable rust. Most of their gear is like that; it looks like it came out of an abandoned factory. It's repairable; you can send the lathe back to Monarch [lucasprecision.com] for an overhaul. But it's not good for much in its current condition. If there's any rust in the bearings, the precision is lost.

    For comparison, see this Monarch Lathe [ebay.com] on eBay. Made in 1950, and still in good shape. Those things will last a century if cared for.

    If you have machinery like that around that's not in use, you have to oil it, then wrap it in plastic with some dessicant inside.

  • Spelling is HARD (Score:2, Interesting)

    by CBWest76 (1002426)
    The most frightening aspect of this is that there are tens of millions of people out there that are having a difficult time spelling out YouTube. If it were a case of mistyping, would that particular iteration really show up that much? Perhaps we have millions of kids out there who genuinely believe that you is spelled u.
    • by anandsr (148302)
      No it just means that the rest of the unawashed masses is thinking that it is U when they read about the acquisition, and going to check what this brouhaha is all about. But probably utube.com is just faking it to get some cheap publicity.
    • by hyfe (641811) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:54AM (#16420537)
      Can you tell the difference between uTube and YouTube when pronounced? No?
      • by Atario (673917)
        Can you tell the difference between uTube and YouTube when pronounced? No?
        Sure, it's easy: YouTube = "YOOtoob"; uTube = "UHtoob" (or possibly "uhTUHbay").
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Chris Pimlott (16212)
          So you go shopping on EBB-eh for used IP-odds? Does it confuse you when Emile sends you email?

          Single-letter prefixes and intentional bizarre "mispellings" are par for the course on the Internet. There's no good way for anyone not already familiar with YouTube to umabiguously know whether it was "utube" or "youtube" if they just heard the name.

        • by elrous0 (869638) *
          You're a fUHnny guy.

          -Eric

    • They've been trained (Score:3, Interesting)

      by way2trivial (601132)
      think about it- "E"bay "E"trade they hear about utube on the radio business news or finance programs, (npr for example) and type that name in, best guess

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by aussie_a (778472)
      I suppose you laugh at people who think eyeTunes is spelt iTunes, right? They must be illiterate as well, right? Perhaps they really do think the body part known as the eye is spelt i.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Atario (673917)
      Perhaps we have millions of kids out there who genuinely believe that you is spelled u.
      Could be worse -- we could be reading a story right now about how some site called uT00b.com is getting swamped.
    • by Andy_R (114137)
      If you've only heard the story on the radio, them it's not a question of spelling, it's more about guessing if name follows the pattern set by iTunes of a single letter then a word. YouTube really should have put in a decent offer for the utube url long ago, and put a redirect in place.

      Here in Britain we had a worse case, the Waitrose supermarket made a heavy push into online sales, but rather than use waitrose.co.uk, they chose a new name. They rolled out a huge radio campaign to drive traffic to ocado.com
  • by antic (29198) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:12AM (#16420277)
    Wherever possible, pick a name that is easily read in an email or understood when read out over radio, on the phone, or in conversation. Also, easy to remember and spell.

    But almost $2b later, I can't imagine that the founders care all that much!
  • Suggestion to CEO of uTube:
    1. Register utube.biz or similar alternative name; make utube.com a lightweight page redirecting actual customers to the .biz site
    2. Start selling ad space on the rest of the utube.com pages
    3. Profit!
  • EweTube, the world's premier manufacturer of sheep storage devices,
    EwwTube, suppliers of air freshener to travellers on the London Underground and
    YuTube, a site dedicated exclusively to promoting the restaurant of David Yu, chinese cook.
    • > YuTube, a site dedicated exclusively to promoting
      > the restaurant of David Yu, chinese cook.

      What does he sell? Tube Steak?
  • by Bob Gelumph (715872) on Friday October 13, 2006 @03:38AM (#16420439)
    How could all those internet users knock the main company offline who was responsible for construction of the Internet?
  • Sheesh.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by l0cust (992700)
    Talk about common sense.

    Pope: "We have decided to ban certain type of statues inside Vatican City depicting erotic postures. Come here Father Bryan and Sister Camilla, and take of your clothes please. Ok this is pose 1..Bryan put your hand there.. this is pose 2... oh and..(takes off his clothes).. eh..yeah that seems right.. this is pose 3.

    A million slashdot editors gasp in shock and then erect similar statues all over the city to inform everyone what kind of statues are not allowed.
  • If anyone, HE should have enough tubes for the internet!

    Ok, I'm quite sure someone beat me to that lame joke. But can someone come up with any reason why anyone on this planet would go to utube.com instead of youtube.com? I mean, who doesn't go to youtube.com by link but actually by typing in the URL? Usually I go there 'cause someone posted a "must check this out" on some bboard.
  • YAFIYGI (Score:3, Insightful)

    by RAMMS+EIN (578166) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:17AM (#16420653) Homepage Journal
    "All my worldwide reps use our Web site. Customers all over the world use it to bring up photos of the machinery, descriptions and specifications there."

    I guess they found out the hard way that making normal business operation dependent on the availability of the website, without taking great pains to assure that availability, is asking for trouble.

    This time, they got slashdotted by mistake. Next time, it could be a targeted DDoS attack.
    • Wait, is there a difference?
    • "Next time, it could be a targeted DDoS attack."

      Oh please.. What small to medium corporate site could survive a targeted DDos attack from tens of thousands of hosts? It just is not a concern for most people.

  • by tttonyyy (726776) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:25AM (#16420703) Homepage Journal
    Utube marketing guy: WTF? Our server is down!
    Utube hosting provider: (putting down fire extinguisher) We want more money, you're burning bandwidth like the U.S. burns fossil fuels!
    Utube marketing guy: Wait - I've just hear that Google bought YouTube and people are interested. Hey! This is an amazing marketing opportunity, I wonder how we can make use of it? (Pays hosting provider big wodge of cash)

    (...ten minutes of googling later)

    Utube marketing guy: My highly expensive and accurate research shows that tubes are incredibly important to our new potential customer base at slashdot.org, they talk about them a lot.
    Utube CEO: OK, so how do we get their attention?
    Utube marketing guy: Simple, we whine to CNN about how our business is going down the toilet thanks to google, then submit a story to slashdot - they love that stuff!

    (...)

    Slashdot editor: Hmm, I've been rejecting a lot of stories like this recently, and this one appears to be suitably poorly put together - perfect!
    Slashdot editor: (skipping "Dupe Check"/"Spel Check"/"Grahma Check" buttons) *PUBLISH*
    Slashdot readers: Oooh, how cruel to link to that site! (Follows link to see if servers really are down or not).
    Server room: (indifferent rattle of hard disks)
    Utube hosting provider: (puffing on expensive cigar) Suckers! Time to order my new Humvee.
    • by thewiz (24994) *
      Utube marketing guy: Simple, we whine to CNN about how our business is going down the toilet thanks to google, then submit a story to slashdot - they love that stuff!

      Don't you mean "going down the tubes "?
  • by slashdotmsiriv (922939) on Friday October 13, 2006 @04:42AM (#16420765)
    Now i know why they named their site YouTube instead of uTube. The second would be more appropriate given the audience, but was already taken.
  • If their website host gives them overage charges they might be able to get google to pay. Then again they might get some extra business out of it by change. Either way I would like to see their website stats

    Rus
  • Sell utube.com to Google/YouTube and then buy universal-tube.us, universaltube.us, or any of the .biz extensions.

    Its not really that much of a problem for them, and a more practical naming opportunity.

  • by xot (663131)
    And now its going to get slashdotted! Like it was'nt getting enough hits already. :-)
  • Free Advertising? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by bad_fx (493443) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:09AM (#16421205) Journal
    Well shit, this seems like pretty good free advetising for these guys. I'd stop complaining if I were them...
    • by frdmfghtr (603968)
      Well shit, this seems like pretty good free advetising for these guys. I'd stop complaining if I were them...

      Free advertising is useless advertising if it completely misses the target audience. How many of those "hits" looking for youtube.com are going to be interested in used machining equipment and hardware?

      My guess is not very much.
  • by Junior J. Junior III (192702) on Friday October 13, 2006 @06:34AM (#16421297) Homepage
    NotATruck.com has also experienced a major spike in traffic, due to confused congressmen.
  • They have nearly a meg of images on their home page. If they are really dying and their reps can't get through, why don't they just have a simple 500-byte text first page that says, "This is not YouTube. Click here if you want the YouTube video site. Click here to enter the Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment Corporation site." or something like that. All of a sudden they can handle 1000 times the traffic.

    Of course this isn't ideal, but it can allow their reps to get in while they work on a permanen

  • by acomj (20611) on Friday October 13, 2006 @08:31AM (#16422245) Homepage
    2 companies, same pronounsiation.

    sysco - provider of food stuff to eateries
    http://www.sysco.com/ [sysco.com]
    cisco - provider of network equipment.

  • Consumers confusing uTube for YouTube and getting a broken/down site (uTube) instead of the gleaming new $BILLION "Internet TV" site is bad for YouTube. It makes those confused people think that YouTube is crap. So it's in YouTube's interest to subsidize uTube's site capacity for a while to handle the extra YouTube traffic. YouTube can get an idea which sites are getting that "brand leakage" by looking at their incoming logs, for referrer sites, if the referring site survived long enough to put a link back
  • Maybe this will teach some people how to spell "you". That is an art form that seems to be lacking among the under-25 crowd these days ...
  • Their home page loads 100 images and has HTTP headers that forbid caching. I realize that not everyone can hire good web developers that take scalability issues like this into account, but surely this is an example of when you need to bite the bullet and do so.
  • Don't worry about uTube, in the long run they will make a heap of money on the Google/YouTube deal. As the consumption of online video continues to grow at an exponential rate, and as Google and the major studios and networks continue to adopt online delivery models for television and film, the infrastructure of the net will naturally have to scale with it. Telecomms and ISPs will be allocating huge sums for the materials they need to expand their physical networks.

    Back in the day, that would have benef

  • Oh, yeah, post a link on SlashDot. That will ease our traffic woes. Yep.

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