Saturday, March 25, 2006

Ideas at Revver.com

Revver has a new e-mail address for your ideas... Ideas at Revver.com (replace at with @). This way we won't be feeding the competition while we try to make Revver a better place.

Having spent hours going through the music pieces on Revver to populate a new Cubebreak.com music section, I have one idea... can't we choose how we rank videos within a topic area? It would be great to list by views or by ratings so I can at least have a starting point. I can't BELIEVE how many music videos have been on Revver for months with fewer than 5 or 10 views. I suppose the length is what's killing them. Plus- people have a lot of other choices to see music videos.

Friday, March 24, 2006

How long should my Revver video be?

I'm going to be hypocritical here, because I sometimes create videos up to 2 minutes. But to arrive at the optimal duration of a Revver video, I think we can adapt the martini rule (one's too few, three's too many).

I have to say, I think it's 20-30 seconds. Anything less and it's probably a mistake or a photo uploaded as a video. Anything exceeding two minutes is going to have to be really compelling. Once you're up to 4 (and I've seen some that are as high as 20) you can forget it. Who would possibly last to the ad frame? You need to have pretty good packaging to get past the 4-5 minute range: Example, the Geek Show.

I don't have Revver stats, but that won't stop me from making some up:
1) The videos getting the most impressions are those between 20-30 seconds
2) Clips under a minute get twice the ad clicks as those over a minute
3) Videos over 5 minutes are viewed 50% less than those under 5 minutes.

Maybe Revver can post a few tips based on the data they have access to about user preferences? It would help us content creators better meet the needs of our mutual audience. And I'm still liking the idea of Revver flying the most loyal Revverites to California for a boondoggle. Who's with me?

Cubekbreak ad on Revver


Thanks, Revver. Love the ad.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Account page blues


I've stopped checking my account page because it's depressing me lately, but some of you have observed that it's still down. Indeed (as depicted above), we're going to have to imagine what we're making. Keep in mind that the dollar figure is a little like looking at stock options based on 10 years of vesting and 15 percent growth. Take them with a grain of salt, and hope that Revver starts swarming with traffic.

BTW- a recent comment was posted by Dawn Westlake... Keep up the Red Couch series- you're onto something, as evidences for your long run on the "Top Rated" section (btw- SOMEONE must be scoring videos if these ratings are changing- who's got the secret key?). Dawn- wouldn't it be nice if the text details accompanying your videos could hyperlink to the artist homepages?

This online video thing is a fad

So here's an article by the San Francisco Chronicle (SFGate.com)that covers the trend of online videos, and lists just about every site but Revver. Grrrrrr. We need more PR folks.

Some interesting excerpts:
>>>The video clips demonstrate how the Internet is reshaping how we get our television entertainment. The material online can be unmentionably bad. The clips are grainy. The lighting is poor. The subject is boring. And some could even encourage reckless and dangerous behavior.
>>>Nearly half of all Internet users -- about 34 million homes, if not more -- have watched video streamed online, according to Forrester Research, a technology research firm.
>>>Simultaneously, the online video phenomenon is producing a new generation of amateur filmmakers... who are able to capture thousands if not millions of viewers online, rivaling some television shows.
>>>Granted, Internet video has been around for years.... but the phenomenon seemed to reach a turning point last year when Web sites started offering video archives, said Josh Bernoff, a Forrester Research analyst.
>>>MTV is teaming up with YouTube to promote one of its television shows, one of many more potential deals... eBaumsworld.com, which calls itself an "extreme video site," has struck a deal for a one-hour pilot on USA Network. And ABC said it is planning to experiment with streaming primetime television shows in the coming months.
>>>By 2007, people are expected to watch 29 billion streams of video, up from 18 billion in 2005, according to AccuStream iMedia Research.

Dear Revver... let's get the media alert to the Revver differentiator (sharing the ad money), and even better... capture a cross-promotion with a network or cable show!

Video sites mentioned in the article:
YouTube.com
vMix.com
vidilife.com
Ourmedia.org
Break.com
Tagworld.com
MySpace.com
video.google.com
Metacafe.com
ebaumsworld.com
veoh.com
video.msn.com
gorillamask.net
dailysixer.com
Dailymotion.com
grouper.com
guba.com
podzinger.com
video.yahoo.com
fireant.tv
ifilm.com

My video got 170,000 views in 3 days

Okay, that's not me talking. But that's what happened to a 17-year-old girl with the username "Bowiechick" on her video "Breakup" posted on YouTube (see ZDnet article for full story). This would have brought her between $1,000 and $1,500 on Revver, by the way. Not bad for 75 seconds of talking about a breakup and playing with a new Webcam tool. That math assumes an average click-thru of 3 or 4 percent and an adverage ad yield of .30 cents or less.

This makes me so insanely optimistic about Revver's potential for those of us posting videos, those advertisers and the soon-to-be rich Revver investors. After all, some of the simplest videos on Revver are far more interesting than this... No we just need to see exponentially more traffic to Revver. And Revver will have to become a portal or partner with portals to get and keep the traffic.

"Fair Use" on Revver... A case study on the gray area

One of the hottest subject for Revverbation posts (with maybe technical issues as an exception) is the firm policy of Revver to avoid posts of copyrighted material. As I've said before, I wish I could use known music to score my videos, but I respect that Revver is protecting creators. I'd be bummed if someone posted one of my videos in their name and made a bunch of money.

Determining what is a copyright violation and what is covered by "fair use" is indeed an art not a science. Here's a nice piece on the subject.

So let's use as a case study my recent video titled "The Office's Youngest Fan" The link takes you to YouTube, because it got red flagged on Revver and may not ever go live. The piece is a video about my son's hysterical laughter based on a clip from The Office. The video's thesis isn't about The Office, but rather the charm of a 3-year-old cracking up on a bit from an adult show targeted to office workers. And his laughter is contagious. For context, of course, I had to show a tiny clip of what he was watching- and that required a few seconds of met pointing the camera at the TV playing "The Office." Is this fair use?

Let's review some aspects based on the article above about fair use. The individual who wants to use a copyrighted work must weigh four factors:

1) The purpose and character of the use: Is the new work merely a copy of the original? If it is simply a copy, it is not as likely to be considered fair use.
Does the new work offer something above and beyond the original? Does it transform the original work in some way? If the work is altered significantly, used for another purpose, appeals to a different audience, it more likely to be considered fair use.
I think The Office clip gets a B plus on this one

2) Nature of the copyrighted work:
Is the copyrighted work a published or unpublished works? Unpublished works are less likely to be considered fair use.
Is the copyrighted work out of print? If it is, it is more likely to be considered fair use. Is the work factual or artistic? The more a work tends toward artistic expression, the less likely it will be considered fair use.
I don't get this one, so I'll give The Office clip a C plus.

3) The amount and substantiality of the portion used: The more you use, the less likely it will be considered fair use. Does the amount you use exceed a reasonable expectation? If it approaches 50 percent of the entire work, it is likely to be considered an unfair use of the copyrighted work. Is the particular portion used likely to adversely affect the author's economic gain? If you use the "heart" or "essence" of a work, it is less likely your use will be considered fair.
My clip get an A here I think.

4) The effect of use on the potential market for the copyrighted work:
The more the new work differs from the original, the less likely it will be considered an infringement. Does the work appeal to the same audience as the original? If the answer is yes, it will likely be considered an infringement.
Does the new work contain anything original? If it does, it is more likely the use of the copyrighted material will be seen as fair use.
Again- a B plus here.

So you be the judge. Is this clip a copyright infringement or not? I have no doubt that the folks from "The Office" would gladly approve this as a nice "word of mouth" ad for a fantastic show that needs a bigger audience. But I haven't got time to contact the network...

Steve Ballmer: Advertisers, Advertisers, Advertisers

It took a week to get here, but at last Revverberation can debut the official Revver version of Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer at last week's Avenue-A Razorfish client summit. Here's the video, and below is the backstory in case you're interested:



Here's my CubeBreak page devoted to Steve Ballmer.

Now the back story. As some of you read last week, I attended a client summit of Avenue-A Razorfish. They somehow got Ballmer to address the crowd on Friday, March 17. Most of us had been out to 3:00 a.m. the night before, so it was nice having Ballmer's energy in the room at this point. Over dinner the night before I told people I was going to ask Steve Ballmer to give us a recap of his infamous "Developers, Developers, Developers" rap. Three people offered me $5 each if I did it.

After Steve presented (see I'm calling him Steve now, like we're on a first name basis), I was the first to the mike. You could see the look of panic in the people from my company and those from Avenue-A Razorfish that had fanned my flame. Steve took the question well, and gave the context of his Developers screech. Even better, he gave us a new line to work with: "Not anymore baby. It's Advertisers, Advertisers, Advertisers."

What's amusing to me about this isn't just the enthusiasm with which he delivers the message. It actually makes me wonder if he wasn't just playing to the room of interactive advertisers. Can this give us clues into where Microsoft is headed? I leave it to more insightful people to speculate. Post amongst yourselves...

Thanks to Steve Ballmer for giving me permission to post this on the web. Honestly- as soon as he finished doing this bit, I asked if he was okay if I posted it to the web. He granted approval right from the stage. It's good to be the king, and not need to check with your PR people, isn't it?

Thanks also to the good folks at Avenue-A Razorfish for so quickly getting me the clip from the summit. Tina, Katy, Amy, Laura, Brian, Josh, Chris, John, Whathisname, and Brad, etc. Thank you. Fantastic event, from what I remember of it.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Upload Delay Update

Thanks to Revver's Responsive Rob for the updates on the uploading approval process. Still, I think this video depicts how I'm feeling about the gap between posting and seeing my stuff in the "most recent" section...




Anyway, here is Rob's post:
-------------------------------------------------------------------------

The review process is currently not being performed by interns but rather by key staff members who have extensive and diverse backgrounds in the media (content) industry. We have to perform these reviews with a human eye right now, there just isn’t any other way, but we’re human – and not perfect. So we’ll be also rolling out a Revver community-based flagging feature to allow you guys to mark videos that we’ve missed as copyright infringement. You guys spend as much time on the site as us, so it’s really the only way.

We are ramping up our full-time content review team and have developed some fairly sophisticated tools for reviewing incoming video, some of which I don’t (can’t) want to mention yet but are moderating rocking.

Now for the “Most Recent” confusion... Originally we had it configured that videos were posted in the order that they actually were ingested, and what would occur is that videos would be marked with a ingestion time of say 01/01/2006 10:00am, and when made public by the user would be placed in “Most Recent” based on that date. So if you had uploaded on said 01/01/2006 and made it public on 01/02/2006, there was no way it’d make the front page. And folks like to see their videos on the front page. That’s part of the fun.

So now that we have our new review process most likely we will switch back to it being ordered per transcoding time stamp.

I hope this clarifies things.

Keep posting!

Who is Rob, the Responsive Revver Guy?

Rob the Responsive Revver guy (RRR) has a few of his own videos on Revver. Check 'em out. I think we're seeing a side of him we don't see in his blog posts.

MAD BAD TAPEWORM

(I think I'll post this to CubeBreak.com's weird section)

COWPOKE TOENAIL TREO

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Video Sites from SacredCow

Below is a nice list of video sites from a recent SacredCowDungWeb 2.0 roundup.

Here's the fresh list with a few additions and subtractions (you didn't think I was going to publish a list without Revver and CubeBreak, did you?):
Ajaxilicious - Share your movies thru RSS.
Blinkx - Personalized epg.
Broadbandsports - Upload & share sports videos.
Clipshack - Upload & send video.
CubeBreak- Fun online videos for bored office workers
Dailymotion - Upload & share videos.
Evoketv - Localized epg (ajax).
Getdemocracy - Watch or make tv.
Mefeedia - Videoblog search.
Mightyv - Web based tv search & epg (UK).
Openvlog - Upload & record video.
Pooxi - Upload & (revenue) share video.
Revver- Upload videos and get paid
Theunseenvideo - Video & weather mash-up animation.
Truveo - Ranked video search.
Turnhere - Upload & share video (local).
Veoh - Upload & share videos.
Videobomb - Submit & vote for video links.
Videoegg - Capture, edit & publish video.
Vimeo - Upload & share video.
Vsocial - Upload, rank & share video.
Woomu - Submit, vote for & rank videos.
Yashi - Upload & share video.
Youtube- Upload & share video.
Zippyvideos - Upload & share video.

Web 2.0 Multimedia Websites

Thanks to the good folks at SacredCowDung for reviewing Web 2.0 and identifying a host of "sites that may be useful to us. Here's the list below, with a few of my additions. Each link will take you away from this page, so you might want to bookmark it.

Cool Multimedia Sites:
360yahoo - Blogging. Tagging. Share Photos. Social Networking
Avidbeauty - Share photos & sounds.
Broadsnatch - Share multimedia. http://www.broadsnatch.com/
Bubbleshare - Phlog, share, add audio captions.
Buzznet - Share videos & photos.
Castpost - Upload & share your av clips.
Comagz - Cocreate & rate content.
CubeBreak - Fun online videos for bored office workers
Everybit - Share your media.
Fireant - Upload & share multimedia.
Glide - Upload & share multimedia.
Grouper - Upload, create & share media.
Hackoff*** - Book published as blog & podcast.
Junklog - Rate, review & share media.
Kaneva - Digital entertainment marketplace.
LifeLogger - Share audio, video & photos.
Listal - List & share all your media.
Livelocker - Link to, rate & share multimedia.
Loomia - Folksonomied media search.
Lulu - Publish & sell your content.
Magnoto - Phlog & blog.
MediaMax - Store, manage & share media.
Myvideokaraoke - Sing & share your song on video. (I'm afraid to click this link myself)
Orb - Stream your media, wherever.
Phanfare - Upload & share photos & videos.
Picpix - Upload & share photos & videos.
Pixpulse - Upload & share photos and videos on your mobile.
Quizilla - Create & share content.
Revver- Upload videos and get paid
Shozu - Upload & share photos, videos & text on your mobile.
Songbird- Media player & web browser.
Sonr - Track media & media users.
Streamdrive - Upload & share multimedia.
Streamload - Store & share your media.
Strmz - Clip & share tv & video.
Swagroll- List & share all your media.
Totoexpress - Host, collaborate on, share & deliver content.
Vidilife - Upload & share media.
Yiibu - Remix, adapt, expand, share & sell content.

Monday, March 20, 2006

YouTube and Copyright Stories

Hmmm... Now I see why Revver is getting worried. Check oiut these relatively recent stories about YouTube and copyright issues.

Another 'Saturday Night Live' Video Removed from YouTube
PC Magazine - Mar 7, 2006
The "Saturday Night Live" rap video sendoff starring "Star Wars" heroine Natalie Portman recently found its way onto video search engine YouTube before being ...

American Airlines subpoenas Google, YouTube
CNET News.com, CA - Mar 9, 2006
American Airlines is demanding that Google and video-sharing site YouTube reveal the name of the person who posted a portion of one of the airline's training ...

Revver's review cycle and click fraud explanation

Revver's Response "Rob" (RRR) posted an elaborate post on Revver's official Blog regarding the review cycle and click fraud. Click here to read it.

The only part from RRR's post that's a bit unclear is the statement that "we have structured a review system that we think will move videos quickly from you computer via the Revver Upload Client to our network." We're not sure if that means that a human has to review each video, and how slow that will make the post-to-view cycle. From many of the e-mails and posts on Revverberation, it's clear that most of us want instant gratification of completing a video and telling friends it's there.

Maybe the triple-R can clarify?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Announcing CubeBreak.com- powered by Revver

I'm doing a softlaunch to Revverberation.com readers of my new viral video site called CubeBreak.com. The site's temporary tag is "Interesting online video clips (viral, funny and bazaar) to help bored office workers escape from their doldrums.

The site is comprised of the best Revver videos I could find (okay, many more than there should be are mine), and has links to other sites.

I haven't figured out if I'll promote the site, but at least I have a more sensible place to send people after they watch one of my clips on Revver. And I have a place to send friends so that they're not seeing my goofy kid flicks mixed with soft porn.

I'll be uploading some of my videos to YouTube and Google with the CubeBreak logo and the "Powered by Revver.com" that they've said I can use. This will hopefully draw some traffic into Revver.

Worst Video Makes Revver's Best List


So a dozen days ago, I posted this ridiculously stupid video to exploit the fact that nobody could rate it poorly since the rating functionality is dead...



That in itself isn't very funny. But here's one for you: Tonight there are 9 videos on Revver's Top Rated section. The video above (which somehow got a ranking of 2.16 and 436 people viewing it) is among the top 9. So my video titled "Worst Revver Vid," is in Revver's Top Rated. Ironic accident or a technical person having fun?

"America's Funniest Bloopers" Spoof -- Cures Wife's Revver Aversion

For those of you that are suffering from spouses that don't understand your Revver addiction, I've found the cure. Give him/her a role in the spot.

This is the first Revver video she's actually gotten excited about. In part because she sings the theme song, and in part because she finds few things as amusing as someone falling down... especially me down the steps. Seeing myself fall down the steps has inspired me to lose 15 pounds by the way.

America's Funniest Bloopers (spoof on AFV):

Mail Order Bride Reprise

I talked to the receptionist at Revver on Friday, and asked if she was in the "Mail Order Bride" video. She was surprised I knew about it -- since it has faded to obscurity and she's quite happy about that.

Here it is for those of you that missed it:

Stuck in Revver's "In Review" cue

* Update: All seems well again since this post. Thanks, Revver *

Is anyone else have delays posting, or have I just been earmarked by the Revver Copyright Soup Nazi as a "high risk"? Last night I posted a video (using the uploader software, since I can't seem to find the upload menu item on the site anymore) and waited an hour or so. I finally gave up.

This morning it's still in the UNAVAILABLE section in a "in review" section.

I hope this is a technical glitch and not a change in the process. And if it is a glitch, I hope they assign it to a different technical team than the one working on the rating functionality (which has been out for almost a month). One of my favorite things about Revver (besides the hope of making some cash) is the fact that I can post almost instantly. YouTube doesn't offer this, and Google's posts take longer than it takes to get a shipment from Amazon.com these days.

Let's put the Revv back in Revver. I need more cow bell, baby.