Nothing in the search industry has generated more buzz than the recent growth in online video search tools and social bookmarking sites. LonelyGirl, the Mentos guys from Maine, the Evolution of Dance dude and countless other 'normal' people have found fame for themselves on the Internet with the advent of user generated video and social media, and the new video search tools that allow millions of users to find and watch these new generation "stars."
Ever since YouTube’s popularity explosively shot out of the proverbial cannon, a gaggle of video search tools and user generated content have cropped up all over the web. It’s not just amateur videos that are taking off in popularity, but videos created by professionals that have an air of authenticity to them.
Other winners include music artists and bands such as OkGo, that have used sites like YouTube to catch their ‘big break’. Following the user base, news media clips, movie trailers, television studios and creative advertisers have all jumped on the convergence/video bandwagon to gain additional attention, and in particular, target the crucial younger demographics.
On the flipside is the fact that some ‘user generated’ videos are causing a multitude of copyright infringement lawsuits. While those events take their natural course, we can now turn our heads to the screen and enjoy the sheer entertainment value of video sharing sites.
Surfing Through the Channels
Much like cable TV, there is not a lot of variety in terms of unique programming among video sites. Many rely on the same basic functions of metadata, tagging, link popularity, user rating systems and commentary. The one possible exception is Yahoo Video, which is flexing its multimedia muscle via CurrentTV, which has taken on the twist of having an official Talent Show to entice users to add videos for a chance to win prizes. Perhaps more promising is how well Yahoo! has tapped into the power of the vertical, within Y! Current Traveler and Action channels.
Browse the Guides
If you didn’t know there was life beyond YouTube, then you need to explore some fresh sources of video content. To find the best videos out there, you must turn your attention to the meta video search engines, which search the main video hosting sites and individual websites for video based content. Should we perhaps coin the term Veta Search for multiple video search services?
Dabble.com - Dabble pulls together video clips from many of the top video sources out there, and allows users to search, view, tag, rate and add comments to any video, regardless of the hosting source. A simple link will bring you over to view the video, as part of its user friendly interface, which includes Meanwhile, some of Dabble’s more useful tools include bookmarking your favorite videos, adding tags, and creating play lists to share with contacts. One useful example is a playlist made specifically for John Batelle to present at the latest Web2.0 conference.
Dabble.com just recently came out of a private Beta and is now live to the public. Although its overall community seems relatively small, it does claim to be searching over 4.3 million videos, and has a user-friendly interface.
CastTV.com - A sneak preview of this site won rave reviews from Michael Arrington over at TechCrunch, but is yet to officially launch, though it is promised for this fall. Its primary selling point will be the ability to search TV shows and movies, providing results with filters for both free and paid formats from a variety of video sources.
Truveo/SearchVideo.com – Acquired by AOL in January 2006, for an estimated $50 million purchase price. Truveo has the volume of the AOL network going for it, along with a total of over 6 million videos indexed, this behemoth of a site has quality videos from top news, sports and entertainment sources, as well as user generated videos.
Blinkx.com – One of the original video search sites, now claims over 6 million hours of video content indexed within its database.
Flip the Clicker Directly To These Video Hosting Sites
Grouper.com – Probably best known for its movie and television clips, Grouper takes mobile entertainment to the next level, by allowing downloads formatted for PSP or iPods. The site also encourages other social tagging by quickly adding your favorites to MySpace, your blog or other social network.
Revver.com –Revver’s most notable feature is its advertising platform, which generates shared revenue for content creators via imbedded ads.
Sharkle - Sharkle.com's clean interface adds a bit of sparkle to some of the more simple videos posted within their categories, with the “Family” area being one of the most popular areas. Here, users have gladly and openly shared personal family moments, video and images to share with other long distance relatives, such as those serving in the armed forces. Part of the impetus for this may be the 1GB of free space currently being offered.
Ziddio.com – Ziddio is truly a platform to get discovered as an entertainment professional, whether it be as a comedian, actor, music artist, filmmaker or other random creative talents. In collaborative efforts with major television studios, major cable providers and production houses, Ziddio offers contests to cull videos from artists of all types to get noticed on television.
Veoh.com – BETA. Veoh has content broken down into useful channels, highlighted by partnerships with top quality, unique content publishers. Watch original full-length, full screen, quality videos that can be synched to an iPod or a PSP or viewed on any full screen device once you download the Veoh Client.
If you don't find what you want on one of these video search sites, you may also be interested in:
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