uTube’s woes

From Good Morning SIlicon Valley

If there’s any company even less happy with YouTube than the entertainment outfits, it’s Universal Tube and Rollerform Equipment Corp. near Toledo, Ohio, which has the misfortune of doing business on the Web at utube.com, its site since 1994. Since the video-sharing site took off, Universal Tube has had trouble keeping its site up under the load of misguided searchers (68 million page views in August alone). “It’s killing us,” said Ralph Girkins, president and owner, told CNNMoney. “All my worldwide reps use our Web site. Customers all over the world use it to bring up photos of the machinery, descriptions and specifications there. … And a customer who can’t find my $3-$400,000 machine online will just keep searching the Web until they find it elsewhere.” Also troublesome — do a Google search for “utube,” and links to YouTube come up first (one at the moment titled “lazyboy – underwear goes inside the pants”), which tends to put off potential customers. Girkins hasn’t been able to find anyone at YouTube or Google to ask for help, and I don’t think they owe him any, unless as a goodwill gesture. But then again, he may want to follow the lead of the entertainment companies and try threat-of-litigation negotiation.