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Isolation and Rumination of Communication

Channels
Yik Yak, YouTube, and Website
Stephanie Diedrich, Avery Faehling, Bryan Konicek, Ashley Skoglund, and Theresa
Vollmer

DESCRIPTION
A brief overview of YouTube, Yik Yak, and website and a deep dive into the
schematics of each channel, including its choke points, constrains, and new
possibilities.

EVALUATION OF YOUTUBE & YIK YAK

Contents
Executive Summary ....................................................................................................................................................... 4
Yik Yak ............................................................................................................................................................................ 5
Brief Overview ............................................................................................................................................................ 5
Dimension Mash-Up................................................................................................................................................... 5
Schematic ................................................................................................................................................................... 7
Barriers and Bottlenecks ........................................................................................................................................ 8
Choke, Constraints, and New Possibilities ............................................................................................................. 9
Effective Communication ..................................................................................................................................... 10
Best and Poorly Suited Communication Tasks ..................................................................................................... 11
Usage Pattern ....................................................................................................................................................... 12
Rejected Insights ...................................................................................................................................................... 12
YouTube ....................................................................................................................................................................... 13
Brief Overview .......................................................................................................................................................... 13
Dimensions Mash-Up ............................................................................................................................................... 13
Schematic ................................................................................................................................................................. 15
Barriers and Bottlenecks ...................................................................................................................................... 17
Choke Points, Constraints, and New Possibilities ................................................................................................ 17
Effective Communication ..................................................................................................................................... 19
Best and Poorly Suited Communication Tasks ..................................................................................................... 20
Usage Patterns ..................................................................................................................................................... 21
Rejected Insights ...................................................................................................................................................... 21
Website ........................................................................................................................................................................ 22
Schematic ................................................................................................................................................................. 22
Barriers and Bottlenecks ...................................................................................................................................... 24
Choke Points, Constraints, and New Possibilities ................................................................................................ 24
Effective Communication ..................................................................................................................................... 25
Best and Poorly Suited Communication Tasks ..................................................................................................... 26
Usage Patterns ..................................................................................................................................................... 26
Rejected Insights ...................................................................................................................................................... 27
Continuous Improvement ........................................................................................................................................... 27

EVALUATION OF YOUTUBE & YIK YAK

So What? ...................................................................................................................................................................... 28
Yik Yak ...................................................................................................................................................................... 28
YouTube ................................................................................................................................................................... 28
Website .................................................................................................................................................................... 29
Appendix ...................................................................................................................................................................... 30
Appendix A: .............................................................................................................................................................. 31
Appendix B: .............................................................................................................................................................. 31
Appendix C: .............................................................................................................................................................. 31
Appendix D: .............................................................................................................................................................. 32
Appendix E: .............................................................................................................................................................. 32
Meeting Agendas ......................................................................................................................................................... 33

EVALUATION OF YOUTUBE & YIK YAK

Executive Summary
The Socially Awkward team has developed a brief overview and evaluation of the schematics of
three communication channels YouTube, Yik Yak, and website. Throughout this paper, we will
discuss our dimension mash-ups, followed by our explanation for our choice of shapes and how
they are incorporated into our schematic for each channel, including its barriers and
bottlenecks, choke points, constraints and new possibilities, effective communication, best and
poorly suited communication tasks, and usage patterns. We will then discuss our rejected
insights, or elements not included in our schematic, as well as our continuous improvements.
Finally, we will wrap it up with our So What?

EVALUATION OF YOUTUBE & YIK YAK

Yik Yak
Brief Overview
To begin, we would like to provide a brief refresher on what Yik Yak is and how it works. Yik Yak
is a social medium that utilizes a feed of yaks made anonymously by college students within a
1.5-mile radius. Beyond that radius, users are able to "peek" at other locations across the
nation to broaden their view of content. Furthermore, each yak is subject to up votes and down
votes of the app users. These votes are what determines which content is displayed on the
feed.

Dimension Mash-Up
We took a closer look at a few of the common attributes of social mediums and measured their
importance as they pertained to Yik Yak through a mash-up dimension (Appendix A).

Yik Yak is unique in the way that it cannot be applied to all aspects of this model. Working from
left to right, note time sensitivity is rated at a seven. This reflects how important timeliness is
when it comes to yakking. Given the nature of the yak, this can be very important. For example,
yakking about a limited time deal, such as a PSA, or yakking about advice needed by a specified
time.

Since posting within Yik Yak is anonymous, there is not too much need for source credibility
no one will know who a yakker is anyways, regardless if he/she is a common yakker, because
this is not shown when a yak is posted.

EVALUATION OF YOUTUBE & YIK YAK

Receiver location is very important when it comes to this social media tool; we rated it at a 10.
We mentioned previously that Yaks operate within a 1.5 mile radius. That being said, those
outside this area will not be able to interact with the Yak. "Peekers" can preview the post, but
that is the extent of their engagement.

Yik Yak does not have categories, nor is its content divided by any guidelines. Therefore,
category choice is not applicable for this social media tool.

Since Yik Yak content trends are based on the up votes and down votes of users, word choice is
extremely important, earning word selection a nine. Like word selection, image choice is also
among the higher scoring categories. If words can be down voted, images can as well, so they
should be appealing.

We gave emotional impression an eight. This is due to the fact that consumers, no matter the
social media platform, favor content they can connect to on a somewhat personal level. If a yak
does not get a rise out of its audience, then it is most likely to be down voted or simply ignored.

There are times when the information provided in yaks merit some degree of usefulness. For
example, weather yaks, traffic update yaks, or "pop quiz in Dr. Phil's interview class today!"
yaks. They give yakkers a heads up or help them out in one way or another. However, the
majority of yak content tends to lean more on the side of entertainment, where the content
has no use but to have the simple purpose of making others laugh, cry, etc. This is why we
chose to give it a four.

EVALUATION OF YOUTUBE & YIK YAK

We debated audience breadth for a bit and decided this does not apply to Yik Yak either. This
circles back to Yik Yak's one and a half mile radius. Even though a content creator might want
their yak to be seen far and wide, there is no changing the fact that it will only reach to the
edge of that 1.5 miles.

Schematic
Our schematics model will use specific shapes to describe Yik Yak's key features, such as the
radius, voting and, of course, the audience (Appendix B).

The squares built from solid lines represent the current viewable Yaks, and those with dashed
lines represent yaks that have disappeared and are no longer visible. These squares are very
important, as they represent our social media tool's means of communication anonymous
messaging.
The black dots in the model are the content consumers who are actively engaging in the yak,
while the white dots are consumers who are not. The blue dots in the upper right hand corner
are peekers. Peekers can see the yak, but cannot engage with the content (up voting, down
voting, and commenting) because they are outside of Yik Yak's area of operation. The dots,
whether they be black, white or blue are also important because they stand for Yik Yak's
audience and potential audience. The larger ring, encompassing all the activity, represents the
infamous 1.5 mile radius in which Yik Yak operates. The radius is important because it sets the
limits of a yak's reach.

EVALUATION OF YOUTUBE & YIK YAK

The black, one-way arrows represent an interaction level that is purely viewing, while the green
arrows represent up votes and the red represent down votes. The green and red arrows are
very important because they determine the duration of a yak's life. A yak may be present on Yik
Yak's platform, so long as it appeals to yikkers voting on it. If a post receives five more down
votes (red arrows) than up votes (green arrows) it disappears and becomes invisible. In other
words, too many down votes and a solid box will turn into a dashed box.

Lastly, the black, two-way arrows in between the two black dots in the yak depict the comment
interaction between users. This two-way arrow is important because it represents natural
human interaction.

Barriers and Bottlenecks

With any social media tool, or communication tool, there is always the potential for barriers
and bottlenecks. Given this particular social media platform, we felt that Yik Yak's limited reach
was the most eminent barrier. Representing the 1.5 mile radius (indicated by the larger circle in
the schematic), the line does not allow those outside its circumference to interact with the yak
(also known as the peekers represented by the blue circles). Another barrier is the dashed
squares, which represent yaks that have disappeared due to down votes or simply a time lapse.
We labeled this a barrier because that content may not have been viewed by other users within
the app. This ties back into the appealing factor that yaks need in order to be successful and
earn green arrows (up votes).

EVALUATION OF YOUTUBE & YIK YAK

Choke, Constraints, and New Possibilities

When diving deeper into Yik Yak, one is able to find the various choke points, constraints, and
new possibilities for the social medium. First are choke points, which are based on its main use
and capabilities. The reason the current use of Yik Yak is a choke point is because it has a
singular use; it is only for college students, mainly for entertainment purposes. The reason Yik
Yaks capabilities are choke points are because the social medium is basically a streamlined feed
of Yaks that have been up voted and down voted by users (the red and green arrows) with no
ability to search for specific content or older Yaks that others have posted. YouTube, Facebook,
Twitter, and Pinterest have all adopted an optimized search option where consumers of
content can easily find and revisit content they enjoy or find relevant. By eliminating a search
feature for previous content, this platform creates a very limited window for users to expose
their content. This is why our Yik Yak schematic appears to be very basic; only representing user
interaction and content that is currently on the yak feed, as well as content that has recently
been down voted or expired.

Next, we have constraints. Playing off the largest barrier, the biggest constraint of Yik Yak is also
the 1.5-mile radius feature, in which there is no opportunity for the content creators or content
consumers to view or create content that is compatible with a broader audience. For
consumers of content there is a peek feature, which allows users to look at content of other
specific campuses, but this is still highly limiting considering those users can only view those
yaks, and not comment, up vote, or down vote on them. Again, this audience is represented by
the blue dots in the schematic.

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Finally, Yik Yak could potentially overcome these choke points and constraints by evolving into
new possibilities that may change the way the tool is utilized. The first suggestion Yik Yak could
implement is video content. In implementing this new possibility, anonymity will still need to be
present. By combining the way pictures are currently reviewed and instilling facial recognition
technology, users faces would not appear in the video, and instead would be covered through
the use of an animated avatar on his/her face once the technology recognizes a face. Another
possibility for Yik Yak to implement would be the idea of direct messaging between users. It
would be an interesting addition for Yik Yak because it will give users the opportunity to chat
one-on-one, rather than in a group setting under comments. Users could view this as a new fun
and innovative form of anonymous communication. The next possibility is for Yik Yak to look
into organizing its content by categories. There could be organized sections based on
entertainment, PSAs, advice, tips, etc. Users would be able to hone in on their specific interests
and communicate anonymously within the various content being created, rather than having to
tirelessly search for what they want to view and interact with. Lastly is the most important
opportunity for Yik Yak to evolve and become useful for businesses targeting college
audiences. If there was a local feed made for a business to use during an event or a promotion
where nearby users can also interact and discuss on, then Yik Yak will have found a way to
monetize and grow for the future.

Effective Communication

As far as the effectiveness of those who use the tool, it all depends on what they are using it
for; based on its relevance to its herd, and how well the herd perceives it. We broke it down

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into our depiction of the top four uses of Yik Yak: Entertainment, Advice, Public Service
Announcements (PSAs), and Tips. If a person is yakking just to be entertaining, the goal
would be to simply post humorous yaks and reply to witty comments. This will ensure the
environment remains comical and inviting. If a person is aiming to lend advice, he/she needs to
be sure that it is relatable and useful or his/her yak may see the down-side of votes. Lastly,
Public Service Announcements. What good is a yak posted today announcing the free ice cream
that was offered in the Caf on Saturday? In order for PSAs to be favored, they must be timely.
From a business standpoint, it's all about the audience. This could be reflected in a marketed
event on a college campus, or promotions, such as special deals and discounts offered to
college students for that specific business.

Best and Poorly Suited Communication Tasks

From a common user perspective, given our background knowledge of the tool and findings in
our model, we declared Yik Yak is best suited for sharing local gossip and spreading public
service announcements. The tool is least suited for spam and posting non-relatable content
that is not specific to the campus or the users within its radius.

From a business perspective (if Yik Yak were to adapt and allow this audience to become
relevant on the social media), Yik Yak would be best suited for driving people to events, peaking
interest and engagement in a brand or company, and creating opinion polls regarding an event.
It would not be suited for advertising outside the college demographic, which is Yik Yak's
primary audience.

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Usage Pattern

All in all, we determined that effective content on the Yik Yak platform follows a usage pattern
that relates to its audience, and that pattern is posting college-based content adhering to users
ages 18-24. Given Yik Yaks primary audience and the extremely limiting 1.5 mile operating
radius, the tool is strongest and most influential when used in its intended environment a
college campus, which ends up revolving around entertainment, advice, tips, and relevant PSAs
or events.

Rejected Insights
After constructing the schematics model and answering the critical questions, we were left with
a few details that did not quite make the cut. We decided not to use the element of polls in our
schematic because it is not a huge feature on Yik Yak. Rather, we wanted to focus more on
what Yik Yaks users are actually using this social media tool for, which is to anonymously yak
with others in their area. Notifications was another "down voted" insight of ours. Yik Yak users
receive a notification when their yak has been up voted, down voted, or replied to, but we felt
as though this was another unimportant element to the social media; an element that may
have caused confusion within the Yik Yak schematic. Yik Yak also has a feature which allows
users to look back at all their current and previous yaks called My Yaks. While this tool is
useful for a yakker who may want to view the history of their yaks, we wanted to focus on all
users yaks as a whole, versus breaking down individual postings.

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YouTube
Brief Overview
Next we have YouTube. As discussed before, this is a social media platform that utilizes videos,
which can be shared, uploaded, searched, and viewed by a large spectrum of online users.
YouTube is a bit complex, so we will take a deeper dive into analyzing its schematic after we
discuss our dimensions mash-up.

Dimensions Mash-Up
In looking at the dimensions mash-up, we decided to break down based on the way YouTube
currently operates (Appendix C). We gave time sensitivity a five because the majority of content
on YouTube is not uploaded immediately after it occurs. Most users look to a social medium like
Twitter for current news articles and video clips because the content is timely and up-to-date.
Unlike YouTube, it also has a live feed when news events occur where a user can look into what
other users and news sources are discussing. If YouTube were to evolve, this may be an aspect
worth improving upon.

Source credibility was a little higher at a six because there are some verified, credible sources,
but there are also a vast majority of users who are not credible, and are just simply posting
entertaining content. As we will later see, YouTube is broken down into entertaining and
informative content. For those who use the social medium for informative content and some

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entertaining content, such as music videos uploaded by artists, it is imperative that the source
is credible. For most other informative content, this is not a relevant factor.

Receiver location is not essential for this social medium because content can be accessed from
all over the world. Users do not often search for content specific to their location, instead they
search among the vast amount of content available on the platform from users uploading
countrywide or even worldwide. Therefore, we gave it a two.

Category choice is at a six because there is categorized content on YouTube, but there is also
content that has not been categorized and just adds to the mass amount of random content.
Most users also utilize the search bar rather than sifting through content categories. YouTube
does not make it well-known that videos are searchable by content, and a user can access these
categories by clicking Browse Channels. If this feature was available on the homepage, it
might be utilized more often and increase in its category choice ranking.

Word selection is at an eight because YouTube videos often come with speaking, and those
words can either make or break the video. If a viewer does not enjoy the word choice
incorporated with a video, especially if this is within the categories of music or movies, he/she
is likely to navigate from the page to view a different video or exit the YouTube site entirely.

Image choice is at a ten because that is the main and most important element of many YouTube
videos. Without visually engaging elements, viewers are often times disengaged and will exit
the video.

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Emotional impression is also relatively high at a seven because a lot of videos will spark an
emotional reaction in viewers, whether that be from laughing, crying, etc. It is not an essential
component of all YouTube videos, but it is certainly present many videos that users tend to
watch.

Information utility is at a six because there is useful content on YouTube, such as news or howtos, but there is also a large amount of content that is only useful for entertainment purposes,
and not necessarily to take and use to enhance a persons life. YouTube has become a great
place for users to go when they want to listen to music and watch movies, but there are also
competitors within these categories, such as Spotify and Netflix. Because of this, regarding the
information utility aspect, YouTube is best suited for news and how-tos, which are not always
its primary uses by viewers.

Lastly, audience breadth is at an eight because the content can be reached and accessed by
viewers all over the world, it is just a matter of finding the content the user wants to watch.

Schematic
We created a schematic for YouTube that will further break down its overall platform and usage
by different users (Appendix D). We start off on YouTubes platform, which is shown by the
large outer square, and have several YouTube videos on that platform represented by the
small squares within.

Each of these videos have viewers, who are shown by the black and white circles. The white
circles represent viewers who have YouTube accounts and the black circles represent viewers

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who do not have YouTube accounts. From there, each of these viewers can interact with the
video in a different way. Viewers with an account can like the video, shown by the thin arrow.
They can also be a subscriber of the videos creator, which is shown by the thick arrow. Another
option is to share the video on other social media platforms, which is shown by the dashed
arrow.

To create a better understanding of each users interaction with the video, we broke the arrows
down by color. The black arrows represent either neutral or no feedback, the green arrows
represent positive feedback, and the red arrows represent negative feedback.

Another aspect of this schematic is the interaction between users. This could be the interaction
of commenting back and forth on a video with another user. In our schematic, this is
represented by the double-sided arrow.

We also show users movement from one video to another by using a blue arrow. Many
YouTube users will watch more than one video while on the social media, due to YouTubes
Related Content feature, where related videos will appear on the sidebar while viewing a
video, as well as on the screen after a video ends. Therefore, we thought this would be an
important aspect to show in our schematic.

Finally, we have video content that is being added, which is represented by the squares outside
of the YouTube platform. The orange arrows represent the flow of this new content onto the
platform. Since YouTube videos are constantly being uploaded and added to the platform, this
was an imperative aspect to display.

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Barriers and Bottlenecks

The potential barriers or bottlenecks shown in the schematic include a few different
components. Viewers without accounts are not able to subscribe or comment; they can only
like/dislike a video, which is shown by the black circles. There is also a mass amount of content
being uploaded to the platform, which is displayed in our schematic from the new videos
coming into YouTube. Viewers are also sometimes bouncing from video to video. This may be
due to relevant videos, or just because the user did not like a particular video and then
searched for a new one. As shown in our schematic, the users, or circles, are navigating to other
videos, or rectangles.

Choke Points, Constraints, and New Possibilities

Similar to bottlenecks, a choke point of YouTube is its mass amount of content, which refrains
the search for content to be simplified and clear. An estimated 300 hours of video is uploaded
to YouTube every minute, which makes it is easy to see where clutter can begin to occur.
Although YouTube has categorizations and tags, there are still countless videos uploaded to the
same categories and some that remain untagged, making a large user-base and audience
hindrance. YouTube does not make these content categories easily accessible, so users are
forced to dig through different tabs in order to find them. This is why our schematic does not
represent a variety of categories on YouTube. Most users would rather search content than
click through its categories of content. There is also a risk and chokepoint of unintentionally
drawing attention to competitors through ads or related videos. Because many videos are
within a category, if a user is watching one brands video or advertisement, it will tend to show

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videos that are related. This means that competitors brands may also be considered related
content and might be recommended. In our schematic, this is where we see users moving from
video to video represented by the blue arrows.

Next, we have constraints. A constraint that sometimes frustrates many users is the fact that
there is no streaming on the social medium from mobile apps. When a user is on the mobile
and they want to minimize the app to access another section of their phone, the video stops
playing. This causes annoyances among users listening to music, because they are not using the
app for the video, but for the audio. Our schematic does not display any YouTube videos that
are mobile-based because this is not an optimal use, due to the non-streaming aspect of the
social medium. Instead, we only show videos that users would watch on the Internet on
YouTubes actual website. Another constraint regarding YouTube is that many of its most
popular videos are not necessarily up-to-date, making its content less useful and used more
for entertainment and immediate needs, rather than being looked at as a reliable source for
timely video content. If YouTube could find ways to encourage immediate newsworthy content
on their platform, it may increase its audience and secure an even more profitable future for
news-related needs. For now, we do not show users in the schematic accessing YouTube as
their primary site for news.

Finally, YouTube can potentially overcome these choke points and constraints by evolving into
new possibilities that could change the way they are utilized. A great option that YouTube could
implement would be categorizing recommended videos by content type on the homepage,
rather than forcing users to search for it. This will allow users to obtain the content they are

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truly looking for, helping clear the clutter and display the videos users want to see. An
innovative possibility that still has not been endeavored is the idea of adding more interactive
content, such as a form of chatroom where users can co-watch videos with others while
viewing their expressions and sharing the experience. A little known feature called Googlebox
already exists that uses this capability and has been very successful in its beta version. If
YouTube decides to incorporate this feature, users will be able to watch music debuts, their
favorite live events, and TV shows, all while being connected to other people anywhere in the
world.

Effective Communication

This leads us to the different types of effective communication on YouTube. It is essentially


measured based on the strength of audiences across platforms; when YouTube videos are
posted and embedded on other social media sites attracting more viewers. Because of
YouTubes vast amount of content, we broke effectiveness down into two distinct parts:
entertaining and informing.

When starting the examination of effective entertainment on YouTube, there needs to be a sort
of categorization that entertain people: music, movies, sports, gaming, and vlogs. For music
and movies, effective content would be broken down into genres such as country, rock,
comedy, horror, etc. It will also be based on a users personal preferences where patterns of
such videos are catalogued, which will lead to more accurate recommendations for each
specific user. Effective content for sports currently revolves around highlights of top plays as
well as interviews from players. With gaming, effective content is highly detailed and shows

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walkthroughs of how to use codes, reach certain levels, and achieve rewards. Effective content
for vlogs, a.k.a. video blogs, should be relatable to its specific audience, while adding humor to
engage the viewers.

With informative content on YouTube, there are two main categories to analyze: news and
how-tos. Effective content for news on YouTube should be credible and timely. This assures the
news being followed is still relevant to viewers and gains a loyal audience in light that it is a
reliable source. With how-tos, effective content must be clear, concise, and credible. Viewers
are looking for these videos to quickly achieve a certain task, meaning they have a limited
attention span. It needs to be intricate enough so that the task can be easily accomplished
without having to repeat the video.

For use amongst businesses, they will need to incorporate its rich format to show unique looks
inside the business such as the first look at a new product, while also using advertisements on
relatable videos to bring viewers back to their company.

Best and Poorly Suited Communication Tasks

In our schematic, we also wanted to think about communicative tasks that are best and poorly
suited for YouTube. The best include rich content that can be shared across multiple platforms,
such as Facebook, Twitter, etc. Unlike other social mediums, when a YouTube link is shared, the
video is embedded directly into that platform, so even when a YouTube video is watched on
Facebook, the content is streamed directly from YouTube and can be linked back and
incorporated into the videos analytics. Another type of effective content is emotionally

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appealing videos. If the video does not appeal to a user and make some sort of emotional
connection, it is likely that the user will stop watching the video. Poorly suited content would
include no notable visuals and a video that is not engaging. Although some users utilize
YouTube videos for music, where there is sometimes no video content incorporated within the
video, the majority of other videos should have visually appealing elements. Videos that are
watched by users for actual visual elements rather than just audio elements need to have
content that engages a user, otherwise, as stated above, it is likely that the user will stop
watching the video.

Usage Patterns

Overall, patterns can be observed throughout this deeper dive into YouTube. All content must
be visually appealing with high video and sound quality, while having a message that grabs and
retains the viewer. Links to web pages as well as various other social media should also be
included to create a greater reach. Finally, the videos produced should be aimed towards
specific target audiences and properly tagged to optimize the amount of relevant views.

Rejected Insights
There were a few components we decided not to include in our schematic. The first is
separating videos into categories. We wanted to distinguish our content into the different
categories on YouTube such as music, movies, sports, etc. but we felt as though it was not an
essential element to the social media or to the schematic. It was more important for us to

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specify the actual engagement that occurs within a YouTube video, because it is relatively the
same in each different category.

History is a section on YouTube where one can look at previous videos he/she has watched, but
it is not an imperative element to the social media, so we chose not to include it in our
schematic. What is more important in our representation of YouTube is the current videos a
user is watching, rather than videos he/she has watched previously. This allows for the
demonstration of current content over archived content, which is more significant for a user.

On the homepage of YouTube, it lists videos that are recommended for a user based on videos
in the users history. In our schematic we really tried to focus on the actual videos that are
within YouTube, rather than how a user finds them. We thought the different components we
included, such as content creators and content consumers (subscribers, sharers, and those who
use the like/dislike button on videos), were more crucial elements to the actual functionality of
YouTube.

Website
Schematic
We will now take a look into our third and final schematic of our traditional media: the website
(Appendix E). It is important to note that we decided to show this channel in a way that
highlights how it is connected to other tools of the World Wide Web and cannot function
without those proper connections.

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First is the large blue arrow, which represents a website. We like to call it home base, or just
home. The website is made up of different divisions, otherwise known as content sections. Each
have their own specific purposes relevant to the website, but all contain nearly the same
interactional purposes, so we highlight this with the four grey squares within the website. An
example of this would be UWGBs website. On it there are different sections of content, such as
links and information for future students, tools like SIS or D2L for current students, and other
useful information for faculty & staff and alumni. Although the users of the website may
encompass a variety of different audiences, each of these audiences are utilizing the site to find
information, use a tool provided, etc. for their own purpose.
Within the division of content are internal audiences and users who create the content. These
are shown with the yellow circles that interact with one another, create content, and push the
content out onto the website. Content exiting from its division to the overall website is
represented by the yellow arrows extending out of the four blue circles.
Next are the external users. The larger dark purple arrow represents the starting point of
external users. These are the locations that lead users to a website, which could be on a search
engine, social media site, etc. It was not established by the website for that user, but the user
can successfully connect to the website from that external site. It could be that the user had a
friend on social media that shared the website or suggested it to them. The light purple circles
within are the external web users, and the light purple arrow outlined in green is the external
users successful connection to the website.

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Barriers and Bottlenecks

Sometimes connections can be broken. This a barrier that websites may face, which is what the
color red highlights. The purple arrow outlined in red represents a user that tried to connect
with a website but became lost and was not able to find the content they were looking for.
Many websites do not organize content well enough to adequately provide for users. The
purple arrow with the red arrows on it is a user who had his/her connection broken as well.
This represents how some users come looking for information, but the website is not current or
up to date. Many websites fall behind the actual progression of an organization, and do not
provide recent and timely information, leaving users disconnected.

Choke Points, Constraints, and New Possibilities

Websites, like the other channels we have looked at, also face choke points and constraints. As
mentioned above, users can quickly become disconnected from a website. This can happen if
the information on the site is out of date, inaccurate, or unorganized. The fact that websites
have to constantly remain current by displaying new graphics, maintaining organization and
timeliness of their information, etc. is really a constraint or choke point for the channel.
Websites must be consistently adapting to what looks appealing and what users are interested
in. In addition to this, if the information is not up-to-date, the websites users may lose interest
and avoid visiting that website.

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Effective Communication

In regards to successful connections, the website has the ability to drive users to other tools it
has for its organization. One of these is the first arrow to the websites left the orange social
media site. The blue arrows indicate a pathway that the website has established to connect
users to its social media outlet and back to the website. Within the social media arrow, the red
circles are users that share thoughts, ideas, and can communicate with each other, shown by
the small red arrows. They can leave feedback at the social media site and they can also
connect right back to the website.
The next arrow over, the dark green arrow, is another site that the website connects its flow of
traffic to. This could be a news outlet that mentions the website or another outside source that
creates relevant information about the organization. The website can use this connection to
provide information to its users and build a stronger relationship with them.
The final pink arrow off to the left is a source where users can take action in some way or
another from the website. When users click on this section of the website, it will take them to
an external site where they can take said action. Examples of this would include donating to a
cause supported by the organization on its website, purchasing a product the website has to
offer, etc. Once again, the user can reconnect back to the website from this new site.
A website can also link these three arrows or tools together, in order to maximize their users
experience. The website and its effectiveness is measured by the volume of users who visit the
website, take advantage of the connections it has established, and navigate right back to the
home site. This is the most important factor of a website; it can always drive people back home.

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Best and Poorly Suited Communication Tasks

The website as a channel has certain communication tasks it is best suited for, as well as
communication tasks it is poorly suited for. The website alone is not strong enough to properly
connect with users and build relationships with them. That is why it connects itself with other
tools or homes like social media, to help improve the tasks it is not best suited for. The
website is best suited for offering a service, advertising a product, housing accurate and reliable
information about the organization, and providing a place for action to persuade its audiences.

Usage Patterns

A common usage pattern revolves around the fact that a websites users are content
consumers. They are utilizing the website to find relevant or useful information that adheres to
their needs. As shown on the schematic through the dark purple arrow, users will also be
navigating to website through outside sources. To capture and maintain their attention, the
website needs to be clean, clear, and sharp. The website also must welcome its guests. The
comparison we made relating a website to a home leads us to the connection of a
neighborhood. People can leave their houses, check in with neighbors, but they are still on the
same street and can always make it back home. Much like a website, the driving goal is to keep
users engaged both on the website itself, as well as on external sources linking to and from the
website. Wherever users navigate to, the website must ensure they can be linked back home.

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Rejected Insights
One of the biggest rejections we had with this schematic was showing more users. With the
web, there would be a plethora users stemming from different external sites and cluttering
around sites without actually interacting with them. The circles would be all over our
schematics page creating a nuisance, and would take away from the importance we are
stressing on the connections the website makes in order to function. Another rejection we had
was breaking down the actual content on a website. Websites are all unique and have different
uses, so breaking down content on it would be difficult. Rather than focusing on this, we chose
to implement a few basic departmental sections on the website, shown by the grey rectangles,
and mentioned that these would be unique to each website, depending on the content placed
within them.

Continuous Improvement
To ensure continuous improvement, it is important that we link our various critical components
directly to our schematics, such as its barriers and bottlenecks, choke points, constraints and
new possibilities, effective communication, best and poorly suited communication tasks, and
usage patterns. All three of our communication channels, YouTube, Yik Yak, and website, have
been described and expanded upon in the previous sections of this paper.

Another important aspect of our continuous improvement is to incorporate competitive


advantages of each channel in our So What? As you will see below, these are clearly defined

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and elaborated on to provide a better understanding of why these channels are unique and
what sets them apart from any other channel.

So What?
Yik Yak
An important difference about Yik Yak is that its users all remain anonymous while on the app.
This makes for a unique experience where users can post what they want. Yik Yak is also
entirely location-based, so users are always posting content to their target audience. This
makes it easier to post content relevant to the radius they are within, which is shown in our
schematic by the circle these users are housed in. For example, users may post a PSA about free
cake in the Garden Cafe, which will drive students on campus to this location. If monetized by
businesses, they would be able to drive content into an area and know exactly what audience
would be on the receiving end, giving them a clear advantage from the beginning.

YouTube
Unlike other social mediums, YouTube videos can be shared and embedded across multiple
platforms, shown by the dashed arrows in our schematic. These videos posted to other social
media sites are driving viewers right back to YouTube, rather than keeping them on the social
media site to watch the video. This may persuade them to watch other videos via Related
Videos, as shown in our schematic by the blue arrows. It is an important aspect about this
social medium because once a user finishes watching a video, about a product for example,

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there is an entire list of related videos waiting to be clicked. A business advertising itself or a
product it offers in the video would know that once a user finishes watching, he/she will have
the option to click on a variety of its other videos displayed on the screen. This ensures high
engagement and much better potential to create a broader reach for each individual video.

Website
The distinguishable feature with a website is that it is much more customizable than the other
channels. It can function as and be utilized for many different purposes. A website is a great
focal point for an organization when well-developed because it can establish and maintain
connections across various platforms, which also extends the reach of the organization to new
audiences. This is shown in our schematic by the consumers that are navigating to and from the
website and other external sources, which are labeled as the pink, green, and orange arrows.
Websites also prevent content from being too cluttered when used effectively because the
websites developers can place content in organized sections of the website; shown in our
schematic by the grey sections where the content is stored. Overall, websites provide a vast
amount of opportunities for users to become connected throughout the website itself, as well
as external sources related to the website, which essentially drive traffic back to its homepage
and create a loyal customer-base that continues to revisit the site.

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Appendix

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Appendix A:

Appendix B:

Appendix C:

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Appendix D:

Appendix E:

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Meeting Agendas
Meeting Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Class feedback from project 1

Continuous Improvement from project 1

Discuss project 2

Choke points

Constraints

News possibilities

How do each of our 3 channels function based on 3 geometric shapes?


o

Come up with shape diagrams for 3 channels for next meeting

Meeting Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review shape diagrams for each channel


o

Website

Yik Yak

YouTube

Provide rationale for shape decisions


o

Why is this attribute an essential feature that needs to be highlighted?

What attributes of the channel did you NOT choose to highlight? Why?

Meeting Date: Thursday, October 22, 2015

Discuss dimensions mash-ups

Discuss effective posts of YouTube & Yik Yak for different audiences

Discuss critical questions


o

What potential barriers or bottlenecks do the schematics imply?

Meeting Date: Friday, October 23, 3015

Discuss critical questions


o

What communicative tasks are best/poorly suited to this channel?

How could you judge the effectiveness of communicators who use the channels?

What types of usage patterns are most likely to emerge in this channel?

What are the critical differences between the different channels?

Delegate PowerPoint slides

Meeting Date: Monday, October 26, 2015

Discuss our So What?

o Centered on critical differences of each channel: Why are they unique?