News - September 27, 2007

Thousands of hits for inquisitive fish

A clip of a curious gurnard in a marine aquarium on the YouTube website has already attracted more than nine thousand visitors. Wageningen Imares has uploaded fourteen videos on the site and hopes that these will help to make the institute better known.

The silent clip shows a tub gurnard swimming along the glass wall of an aquarium. Not that it stands out particularly among the thousands of videos of playing cats, singing teenagers and great goals from the premier league. The reason the film attracted so many viewers was, according to Imares spokesman Hans Bothe, due to YouTube placing it on its homepage. ‘YouTube wants to encourage companies and institutes to use their site to provide information, so they were happy to respond to our request. That’s why the tubfish was on the homepage for a while, and then you get lots of hits.’

Bothe hopes that the videos will attract more visitors to the Wageningen Imares website. ‘At present, our site mainly attracts visitors from our traditional target groups. Outside the policy-making arena and the fisheries world we are less well known. Together with Astrid de Best from Communication Services we came up with the idea that YouTube exposure might get us different visitors.’

Bothe is very pleased with the results. Together the fourteen videos have had over thirty thousand hits. ‘If ten percent click through to our site it means three thousand visitors. That’s a lot for us.’ The videos have already provided a new employee. ‘During his job interview, we noticed the candidate was well informed about our activities. When we asked how he knew, he said that he’d watched the film of Imares members of staff describing their work. It works really well. I take my video everywhere with me; it only takes a couple of minutes to make a clip. It’s quick and cheap and delivers results.’ / Korné Versluis