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IDEA #47 – Video Trains and Tracking

vidmeter.jpgOK, so I’m still obsessed with Vidmeter — I think there’s a market for tracking videos and other ranking/rating features for videos.

If you can get people to copy the embed code for a YouTube/Metacafe/Revver/etc video from your site, rather than direct from YouTube/Metacafe/Revver/etc, then you can include an additional embed or link underneath the video. I think there’s value to be given to consumers as incentive for them to do such a thing. Here are some of my ideas as to why a consumer would copy the code from proposed site instead of direct from YouTube:

  1. Widget under video that shows who submitted the video to our site. What about a timeline/vine of the video — who all saw the video via our system, who submitted it originally all the way to the end user that is viewing it now. The user would either input their MySpace/Facebook/etc username/URL, or blog URL, or simply they have a profile in our system that may hold additional info on them (like city/state — so then a user could see a Google Maps mashup that shows how the video bounced around the world). Users could see how a video virally spread — I’d call these “video trains”.
  2. How many videos have you seen? Provide a widget that plays while videos does, it knows the video length, and then registers as a play if the user keeps watching the video to the end. Or maybe if they just watch half of the video it results as a view. This is similar to’s scrobbling technology. Who doesn’t want to show off how many videos they’ve watched? Users could become authorities based on how many videos they’ve seen — they can also rate, recommend, and trash videos.
  3. Widget under the video that shows the top 10 videos of the week. Or shows top 10 related videos to the video the user is watching, based on other videos people in our network have watched.
  4. Gimmick: When you see a YouTube video embedded somewhere, it has the play button on it, so you click to play. You could trick the user by taking a screencap of that video with the play button, save it as a GIF/JPG, and users embed that on their MySpace pages. Users then click on that image, thinking it’ll auto-play the video, and that brings the user to our website and auto-plays the video. Our page might also show similar videos on it — but if anything, we get the user back to our website and serve up some ads around that video.
  • Andrew

    The tech that Vidmeter provides is actually a good solution to a point-of-pain that a lot of young vlogs and video dailies are having. For example, a-nameless-video-daily (a real business) wants optimal distribution so they submit their daily videos to the top 10 video sharing sites everday. This video startup has a guy on staff that just does stats and submissions. Every morning he posts the new video and collects all the cooresponding tracking/embed codes, then he manually updates the stats for the past videos buy hand so they can get an aggregate number. Vidmeter fixes part of this problem with automation of stat aggregation, and hopefully they allow auto-posting to multiple services at one. Sure, such features would put this guy out of a job, but it’s a great niche startup to get involved in the metadata around online videos.

  • Timothy Chen

    That trick in point 4 is clever, but won’t it frustrate users if the page auto-jumps to the original site when they “just want to play the video”? @@”

  • Steve Poland

    Yes — #4 is “sneaky” 😉

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