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TOU.TV has earned its place in the nascent history of Web video platforms. The award-winning site is the pride of CBC/Radio-Canada, and it welcomes an astounding number of visitors every day.

But what makes TOU.TV original is that internet users are so committed to it - their commitment can be measured daily across social networks, where users follow and comment on recent posts, share their ideas for improving the product, and discuss/suggest content they'd like to see.

When I first began managing TOU.TV communities, I didn't know what to expect. The platform was enticing, amazing even, but it remained to be seen whether the public would embrace it and identify with it over the long term.

From the outset, our team shifted right into high gear, formulating our own strategy for TOU.TV community management. TOU.TV was an overnight success, and our Twitter followers and Facebook fans grew at an unprecedented rate. But the challenge is to nurture these communities and keep members happy.

In just over a year, TOU.TV's Facebook page had amassed over 100,000 fans. To celebrate this meteoric rise, TOU.TV launched a major contest that afforded it the opportunity to survey Web users on what places they preferred for watching videos on TOU.TV - two valiant users won a $500 gift card.

Just on the cusp of TOU.TV scoring its 100,000th Facebook fan, the contest had drawn over 350 entries.

TOU.TV and Its Community

Over 100,000 Facebook users "Like" TOU.TV. They receive status updates from the page, and closely follow every aspect of this great adventure - now THAT's what I call community involvement!

For TOU.TV, it's also a sign of recognition from its audience, which is loyal and always up for participating. To honour our audience's commitment, we've also created a presence in the user community, including Twitter offshoots to micro-communities centred on games, issues and Twitter keywords such as #toutvdino, #toutvvintage and #montoutv.

According to a study by U.S. IT giant Cisco, Web video is booming and has a very bright future. The study estimates that by 2013, video will account for 90% of Web traffic in the United States.

TOU.TV therefore has a few challenges ahead if it wants to remain a unifying force. But those challenges will be faced alongside a loyal and committed user community.

- Article by Xavier Kronström Richard, Host and Head of Social Networks, Internet and Digital Services, Radio-Canada
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