Mastering the Network | Kristien Vermoesen | TEDxULB - YoutubeRandom

Mastering the Network | Kristien Vermoesen | TEDxULB

The Arab Spring, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, fake news, twitter trolls,… They all show that the 21st century is the age of the network - digital and analog. The network never sleeps, and it is immensely powerful: sometimes right, sometimes wrong, but always interesting. How ideas, attitudes and behaviors spread, or how ‘virality’ works, can be explained by mathematics, as Duncan Watts shows in "6 Degrees". Understanding that gives powerful insights into how society works and changes. Applied to personal life, it is proven that generosity towards your network is the way to ‘win’ in a connected world. Adam Grant shows that understanding how the network rewards and punishes us, will lead to the conclusion that generosity is your best strategy to build a fulfilling life and career. In the end, how we treat our own, personal network will define our life. Be generous, and the network will reward you. Kristien has always been fascinated by how influence works and how ideas impact on society, business and politics. She founded communication agency FINN in 2006 after a career in communication and journalism to assist organisations in navigating the communication challenges of a changing world. She also co-founded Mustr, a stakeholder management tool. At FINN, she advises companies, political parties and organisations on their communication strategy and CEO branding, including Deloitte, Pfizer and Atlas Copco. She is regularly solicited as an expert on corporate communication by the media and for conferences. She was asked to be Belgian ambassador for the European Network of Female Entrepreneurship under the auspices of EU Commissioner Antonio Tajani and was mentioned by Trends in their selection ’40 managers under 40’. She serves on the board of directors at Odisee (KU Leuven Association) and theatre company Het Nieuwstedelijk. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at

Random YouTube Video Generator

 This site provides links to random videos hosted at YouTube, with the emphasis on random.

 The original idea for this site actually stemmed from another idea to provide a way of benchmarking the popularity of a video against the general population of YouTube videos. There are probably sites that do this by now, but there wasn’t when we started out. Anyway, in order to figure out how popular any one video is, you need a pretty large sample of videos to rank it against. The challenge is that the sample needs to be very random in order to properly rank a video and YouTube doesn’t appear to provide a way to obtain large numbers of random video IDs.

 Even if you search on YouTube for a random string, the set of results that will be returned will still be based on popularity, so if you’re using this approach to build up your sample, you’re already in trouble. It turns out there is a multitude of ways in which the YouTube search function makes it very difficult to retrieve truly random results.

 So how can we provide truly random links to YouTube videos? It turns out that the YouTube programming interface (API) provides additional functions that allow the discovery of videos which, with the right approach, are much more random. Using a number of tricks, combined some subtle manipulation of the space-time fabric, we have managed to create a process that yields something very close to 100% random links to YouTube videos.

 YouTube is an American video-sharing website headquartered in San Bruno, California. YouTube allows users to upload, view, rate, share, add to playlists, report, comment on videos, and subscribe to other users. It offers a wide variety of user-generated and corporate media videos. Available content includes video clips, TV show clips, music videos, short and documentary films, audio recordings, movie trailers, live streams, and other content such as video blogging, short original videos, and educational videos. Most content on YouTube is uploaded by individuals, but media corporations including CBS, the BBC, Vevo, and Hulu offer some of their material via YouTube as part of the YouTube partnership program. Unregistered users can only watch videos on the site, while registered users are permitted to upload an unlimited number of videos and add comments to videos. Videos deemed potentially inappropriate are available only to registered users affirming themselves to be at least 18 years old.

 YouTube and selected creators earn advertising revenue from Google AdSense, a program which targets ads according to site content and audience. The vast majority of its videos are free to view, but there are exceptions, including subscription-based premium channels, film rentals, as well as YouTube Music and YouTube Premium, subscription services respectively offering premium and ad-free music streaming, and ad-free access to all content, including exclusive content commissioned from notable personalities. As of February 2017, there were more than 400 hours of content uploaded to YouTube each minute, and one billion hours of content being watched on YouTube every day. As of August 2018, the website is ranked as the second-most popular site in the world, according to Alexa Internet, just behind Google. As of May 2019, more than 500 hours of video content are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

 YouTube has faced criticism over aspects of its operations, including its handling of copyrighted content contained within uploaded videos, its recommendation algorithms perpetuating videos that promote conspiracy theories and falsehoods, hosting videos ostensibly targeting children but containing violent and/or sexually suggestive content involving popular characters, videos of minors attracting pedophilic activities in their comment sections, and fluctuating policies on the types of content that is eligible to be monetized with advertising.

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