Friday, March 10, 2006 Boosts Video Virals Boosts Video Virals

by David Goetzl, Friday, Mar 10, 2006 6:00 AM EST

TV NETWORK NBC, WHICH RECENTLY forced to stop distributing the network's popular videos, has begun offering video clips on its own site, which now comes equipped with functionality. is allowing visitors to view the buzz-heavy clips such as "Lazy Sunday" and "Natalie Raps"--both rap spoofs from "Saturday Night Live"--and then easily send e-mails to friends linking to them. One of YouTube's key features is the opportunity to start a viral video chain.

NBC lawyers last month demanded that YouTube remove the "Lazy Sunday" video, and followed that up this week with the same request for Natalie Portman's mock rap.

Stephen Andrade, NBC's vice president of interactive development, said that NBC supports video sharing and hopes to facilitate it, but wants the chain to start at

"We were concerned about building their corporation instead of ours since it's our video," he said. "We would like to make it as easy for people to share as we can, so we're trying to provide as many tools as we can to do that."

The new video-sharing functionality is only one aspect of NBC's strategy to turn into a thriving site with community features like message boards, blogs and video sharing--similar to MySpace, but around the NBC brand.

NBC has hired Dana Robinson as senior community manager, a new position. Robinson will work to seed the blogosphere and Web ether with messages about new offerings on For example, she may encourage visitors to the MySpace forum on "The Office" to check out "Dwight's Blog," kept by one of the show's characters.

"We have a lot of good interesting content on," Andrade said. "And people don't know it exists. They think we're just this old media brand." also plans to begin promoting hot discussion topics on its message boards in prominent spots on the site, hoping to entice visitors to join in.


buzz this