Monday, March 17, 2008

social video and public broadcasting

In the midst of the videoplayer storm (almost every day there is a new service launched) I have been working on.. indeed making another videoplayer. There is however a very decisive difference in this player with other services. Most of them are aimed at us, users becoming videochannels. That's great, a well of new unknown talent comes on board, You Tube already showed this much. But..This player is aimed at getting "regular" broadcasting material into the the social web layer. The question then is how to get a videoplayer that can stand up against all these new initiatives AND add value to the experience of using and working with it?

We focussed on adding 'watching together" functionality to it. On getting video online "social" itself. What functionality do you need so you can share your viewing experience with others, most likely your friends?
You need to be able to comment and talk about the contents of the video. You need to be able to point out what others should watch, which particular scene..and why
You need to be able to "personalize" the video you want to place in "your environment", notably your webpage, profiling page etc. All of that and more we designed into a player no larger then the You Tube player. Where You Tube is adding - a lot - of social functionality AROUND the players, in their own website, we tried to get the most significant functionality also INTO the player. Off course we want to direct people to the website of the public broadcaster as well. This will happen because of the added value you can find in the landingspages (the reward to go to the website of the pubcaster is this good, you will). With "uitzending gemist" the pubcaster was one of the first in the world to have a large scale video on demand library available to the public. The service is inmensely popular, but.. it is a closed loop. Coming from a closed environment the movement here is to "open up" to the wishes of the public. To take the content and place it in your own context and enable you to "talk about it" with others. In some upcoming posts I will go deeper into the motives behind this, the things we learned so far and a little bit more about how to get video on the web more social. The answer is in the icing on the cake..