YouTube’s most watched UK videos of 2013

It’s that time of year again when our content starts to become more fun. To continue the tradition of the last two years, I am going to take a look at which videos attracted the most attention on YouTube over the last year in the UK. Scroll to the end for the global list.

Sneaking in at number 10 this year is Learn the Alphabet with Peppa Pig! a video which teaches the alphabet the help of a family of pigs. Interestingly the video has a very high percentage of dislikes – around 10,500 likes to 9,000 dislikes. If you have forgotten the alphabet and want a quick refresher, I recommend you check out the UK’s 10th most visited video of 2013.

In at number 9 is a music video by the band Hadouken! The song is accompanied by a video of people doing all sorts of amazing, thrilling stunts and is well worth a watch. It proves to you what us humans are capable of.

The eighth most watched video on YouTube for the UK this year is Francine Lewis’ Britian’s Got Talent Interview. Francine is an impressionist who shocked and humoured the audience, naturally getting 4 yeses from the judges. If you want to follow her story (and have a laugh) check out the video, Francine Lewis with her many impressions.

Having been watched over 10 million times across the world Tom Daley: Something I want to say… comes in at number 7 on this years list. The Olympic athlete announced he was in a relationship with another guy via his YouTube channel and the video instantly went viral. The media as a whole were very respectful of Tom’s bravery and many congratulated him on helping to break down still prevalent social boundaries. With a 20:1 like to dislike ratio, I think it is fair to say the public is behind Tom and value his openness.

Remember that video by the Norwegian army that made Internet history earlier this year? No. How about if I say the words Colo Terorita… ringing any bells? Watch this then.


That’s right, a Harlem Shake parody comes in at number 6.

Has there been a year when Tom Ska hadn’t had a video in the UK’s top 10? Probably not for a while. Okay so in at number 5 is asdfmovie6, a continuation of the asdf sketch comedy series. asdf7 is now also out, but since it was only released in October, it hasn’t made the top 10 for this year. For a little more comedy, check out asdf6 below. 🙂

Number 4 this year a BBC video from the Graham Norton Show where Graham is surprised by Will & Jaden Smith. The video has been viewed nearly 20 million times, and sees Alfonso, Will and Jaden and DJ Jazzy Jeff do the Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air rap.

So, to the top three!

This year Britain’s Got Talent has two videos in the top 10, stealing slot number three on the list too with Attraction’s audition video. Attraction are amazing, they stunned and moved the nation with their fantastic shadow performance. Check it out.

In at number 2 this year with over 200 thousand likes to less than 2,500 dislikes is the 15 minute long My Wedding Speech by Mcfly drummer Tom Fletcher. The video is a brilliant song thanking all those involved in making Tom’s wedding. The song is a very entertaining tribute and is worth 15 minutes of watching, do take a look.

So now to number 1. Comedy seems to have been a common theme over the last three years, so it is fitting that this years winner is a comedy video. Ever wondered how animals eat their food? Well you wouldn’t be alone, it appears over 90 million other people have too. Take a look.

The Global Most Watched

Here is a list of the global top 10 most watched videos on YouTube.YouTube logo

  1. Ylvis – The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)
  2. Harlem Shake (original army edition)
  3. How Animals Eat Their Food
  4. Miley Cyrus – Wrecking Ball (Chatroulette Version)
  5. baby&me / the new evian film
  6. Volvo Trucks – The Epic Split feat. Van Damme
  7. YOLO (feat. Adam Levine & Kendrick Lamar)
  8. Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise
  9. THE NFL : A Bad Lip Reading
  10. Mozart vs Skrillex. Epic Rap Battles of History Season 2

That’s it for another year, but do be sure to stay tuned for next years YouTube top 10! 🙂

Top 5 reasons for gadget buyer’s remorse

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Electronic gadgets

Typical gadget purchases.

Nothing compares to the excitement of getting a brand new gadget home. But, when you get it out of the box, have you ever regretted buying it?

New research from Debt Advisory Centre shows that the majority of people in the UK (82%) have experienced buyer’s remorse – and 20% of them have regretted buying gadgets (that’s just over 8 million people!).

Gadgets can be a big commitment – so if you regret buying them it can feel awful. That’s why Debt Advisory Centre has looked at the top 5 causes of ‘gadget buyer’s remorse’, and suggested a few ways they could be avoided.

1. I didn’t really need it (38%)

Many of us have been guilty of this at some point or another. It can be so easy to get caught up in the excitement when a new gadget comes out – and we feel like we just have to have one of our own. However, in the end, we realise that we didn’t actually need it at all.

One of the best ways to avoid this is to delay your purchase – by a week, a month or perhaps even longer. It might take some determination, but after the time has passed you might have a better idea of whether you actually wanted the gadget in the first place. Plus, if you wait a month or two, the cost might go down too.

2. I couldn’t really afford it (21%)

21% of people with gadget buyer’s remorse regretted their purchase because of the cost. That’s equivalent to 1.7 million people across the UK! And it’s true: gadgets can be very expensive, especially if they’re brand new.

Buying something that’s a bit too expensive is one thing – but getting into debt because of it is quite another. At Debt Advisory Centre, we’ve found that overspending is one of the main reasons people get in touch with us. We hear situations like this every day, along with the other causes of debt like job loss, divorce and other changes in financial situation. Whatever the reason, if you’re struggling with your debts it’s important to get help as soon as possible. A debt adviser could assess your circumstances and suggest an appropriate solution.

If you’re hankering after a gadget you can’t really afford (and you’re sure you actually need it), well: patience is a virtue. Wait it out, and you might find that the price drops significantly – or you might be able to find it much cheaper second-hand.

3. It was poor quality or broken (17%)

If you get your gadget out of the box and it doesn’t work properly, or it’s visibly broken, you should be entitled to return it and get a full refund. If it’s not quite as good as you were expecting (for example, if it’s a bit shoddy or flimsy) you should be able to return it, citing that it’s not suitable for your needs.

Surprisingly, only 7% of gadget-buyers who regretted their purchase actually returned it. Always check retailers’ returns policy before you buy anything from them.

4. I rarely or never use it (15%)

One day, your gadget can be your favourite possession, and never out of your hand. Then, a few months down the line, it can be in a cupboard – forgotten.

In this case, you may not be able to return it to the retailer (as you may have had the item for too long). So you could take an example from our respondents, who sold their item on (21%) or gave it away (6%). Have a look on eBay or similar sites to see how much other people are selling your item for. It’s worth at least getting some of the money you paid back.

5. I didn’t like it (10%)

It’s reassuring to see that ‘didn’t like it’ is the least popular reason for regretting gadget purchases. Gadget-buyers clearly do their research to see whether a gadget is right for them before they buy it.

However, if it does turn out that you don’t like it – don’t just keep it (like a whopping 66% of our respondents did). Act quickly and you can return it.

Bridging the digital divide

In this day and age, people have come to expect at least a modest speed for their internet connection. In many urban parts of the UK, speeds of around 10MB per second are commonplace, with some homes experiencing five times that amount. Home internet access has become a prerequisite for many school pupils in their learning, but not all of them are so lucky.

For many children based in rural areas or internet blackspots or for those whose families cannot afford to pay a premium for access, getting the information they need in order to complete their homework or simply boost their knowledge is extremely challenging. This is something that was raised by Estyn, the Welsh education watchdog, and they’re not alone.

Call for more investment

Those in rural areas, even if they’re just on the edge of major conurbations such as Greater Manchester and Leeds/Bradford, will find getting even basic broadband a pain, which has seen people in high-powered positions call for investment in improving connectivity where there is none. David Nuttall, the MP for Bury North in Greater Manchester, is one such voice.

Of the £990,000 allocated to the region, Mr Nuttall is calling for a large chunk of that to go towards people in his constituency who are experiencing problems with their speeds and, in extreme cases, access.

Those who live in areas which have very slow broadband access speeds are seriously disadvantaged in this digital age”, he said in an interview with the Bury Times.

Although in recent months we have seen some progress — for example in Nangreaves thanks to the hard work of local residents — there is still much to be done”, he added.

Solution from above

An optical fibre broadband cable

Whilst fibre optic broadband the fastest form of broadband, satellite broadband offers much faster speeds for those in rural communities, without optical fibre cables.

Until something is done about access to fast broadband nationwide, those affected are left to ponder what, if any, alternatives are open to them. One could come in the form of satellite broadband, which can work as more than just a stopgap solution.

Many people don’t realise the role satellite broadband has in filling in rural not-spots and connecting the last 5% of homes and businesses that will never get fast broadband over wires”, said Andrew Walwyn, CEO of EuropaSat.

The latest generation Ka band satellite broadband services offer defined, predictable service levels at reasonable cost, with no geographical discrimination. Using a small set-top box and an outside mini dish it’s now possible to deliver up to 20 Mb fast broadband to any property in the UK or indeed Europe.

Monitive – 1 year on

Last year the founder of Monitive.com, Lucian Daniliuc, contacted me, asking if we wanted to run a competition to giveaway 10 Monitive licenses; I accepted and we launched our first ever competition.

I was also given a Monitive account, and have been using it for a year now. In this post I am going to review my experience of the service after a years use.

Latency

One of the main things I use Monitive for is to monitor site response times. Latency is very important, and can have a huge effect on traffic, as the longer people have to wait, the more people you loose before the page loads.

With superfast broadband, many of us are becoming incredibly impatient, and if something isn’t responding, we might ditch a site in a matter of milliseconds.

Before using Monitive, I had no idea how long Technology Bloggers took to respond. Monitive allows me to see on a daily basis how long the blog takes to respond, in multiple locations, all around the world. I know that if you live in Liechtenstein or Ireland, the blog on average seems to take around half a second (500 ms) to respond. In the UK it’s about 0.6 seconds, whereas in the USA, it takes just over a second.

This lets me ask the site’s host why the latency varies so much, and ask them what they can do to improve global response times.

Response times Technology Bloggers - April 2012 to April 2013

A chart showing the average global response times of Technology Bloggers.

Uptime

Whilst response time is important, it has no value if your site is offline. Monitive is accessing Technology Bloggers every 5 minutes from hundreds of locations around the world, to ensure that the site is live and accessible. If the blog goes offline for more than 3 minutes, I am sent an email. These are my personal settings, you can make checks/notifications more/less frequent, and can get notified via SMS and Twitter.

Quite disappointingly I report that Technology Bloggers went offline 23 times in the last 30 days. During this period, you couldn’t access the site for more than 10 minutes on 6 occasions. If I wasn’t using Monitive, I would only have spotted one or two of these outages myself. I can now report these to the site’s host, and ask why the site has gone offline so many times.

Uptime graph 2013

A chart of the uptime and downtime Technology Bloggers experienced in April/May 2013.

Unless you pay for load balancing, to mirror your site on various servers across the world, and effectively distribute traffic, to ensure 100% uptime, you should expect some downtime. It is expected that most sites will have some go down at some point, however how frequently this happens, and how long they remain offline for is something to consider.

We have a 99.9% uptime guarantee on the blog, yet this year so far, uptime has been 99.85%, meaning around five hours of downtime has occurred this year already.

Improvements

One thing I don’t like about the service is that it doesn’t allow on demand checks. I think it would be very useful to be able to check the status (including response time) of a site at a desired location, whenever you want; but as of yet, this can’t be done.

As I have set Monitive to check the blog every 5 minutes, and then notify me after 3 minutes of downtime, it can be a while before the system updates. For example, if the site is checked at 13:00 and at 13:01 I check and the site is down, it wont be checked again until 13:05, and I wont be notified until 13:08. In such a situation, being able to check the current status, could be useful.

Chadrack

One of the winners of our Monitive competition was Chadrack Irobogo. I asked him what he thought of the service.

“I can say, it was great because throughout the period I was able to know what was going on with my site. Before then, I really did not know anything about site monitoring. It was during the use of this program I learned when my blog was either down or up. And all of these was done without my doing anything. Unfortunately, I cant really give any details about the program. Only thing I can say is, it is really good.”

I agree with Chadrack on his point about the service being an eye opener to downtime. I really didn’t understand how often sites go down, even if only for very short periods of time.

Like Chadrack, Monitive is the first commercial website monitoring service I have used, so I don’t know how Monitive compares to its competitors. I am however suitable impressed by their services to want to keep using them.

If you are interested in Monitive’s services, do check out their uptime monitoring website. I have found website monitoring very useful, and am thankful to Monitive for my license, and for giving us prizes for our competition last year.