Is it UTube or YouTube?

Kai Ryssdal Oct 13, 2006

KAI RYSSDAL: You live by the Web, you die by the Web. At least when your website sounds an awful lot like one of the hottest properties out there. Google bought YouTube Monday, as we told you. It was a bad break for a company whose website is UTube — Ralph Girkins’s the president of the company. We got him on the phone earlier this afternoon.

RYSSDAL: Mr. Girkins, hello.

RALPH GIRKINS: How are ya?

RYSSDAL: I’m all right, thanks. So, how are you? Having a tough week, I guess.

GIRKINS: It’s been a busy week, yes, it has.

RYSSDAL: Tell me about your company and what you sell.

GIRKINS: My company is Universal Tube and Rollform Equipment. We supply internationally the machinery that actually makes tube and pipe. You know, pipe like oil.

RYSSDAL: I gather you guys have been online for a whole lot longer than YouTube, Y-O-U T-U-B-E, is that right?

GIRKINS: That’s right. About . . . I think it was in 1994 we adopted UTube —

RYSSDAL: News breaks Monday and what happens to your website?

GIRKINS: Ah, down we are. We were overwhelmed.

RYSSDAL: What kind of traffic do you usually get?

GIRKINS: In a normal month, we might have had three, four hundred hits a day. And we went up to, in August, when we stopped logging, was about 68 million.

RYSSDAL: Now, it’s a fun little story for the rest of us. But really, you’re pretty much out of business online now, aren’t you?

GIRKINS: No, we’re up and running. We finally got up.

RYSSDAL: How’d you do that?

GIRKINS: We just found a provider that could handle us.

RYSSDAL: Did you try to get ahold of Google and/or YouTube to fix this thing?

GIRKINS: Yeah, I’ve sent them e-mails. I don’t know how to do it. I’ve had a lot of people contact me who would like to sell the domain and all this kind of stuff. And I said what you can do for me today is get somebody from Google to give me a call. I think I’ve got a solution for both of us.

RYSSDAL: Well, it’s good to hear you’re back online, sir.

GIRKINS: Yeah, it took a while.

RYSSDAL: Alright, best of luck to you. Ralph Girkins is the president and founder of Universal Tube and Rollerform Equipment Co., also known as That’s a U and a T-U-B-E. They’re near Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Girkins, thanks a lot for talking with us.

GIRKINS: Thank you. Have a great day.

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