Vodpod going strong
Having been way too heads down, I have so far neglected to write anything about my new startup, vodpod.com. Given that we’ve been open to the public now for about 4 months, it seems overdue for a post about the service.
Vodpod is a video aggregation service, but pretty different from most of what’s out there in the video sharing space. Rather than concentrate on hosting our own videos, the focus at vodpod is for people to collect videos from other sites. So people use vodpod as both a bookmarking tool for their favorite videos (from YouTube, Google, or hundeds of other sites), and as a tool for self-expression to show their favorite videos. As a publishing tool, vodpod creates both a nice space at our site (here’s my pod of videos for the kids: http://videosforkids.vodpod.com/) to showcase videos collected by each user, but we also offer nice blog widgets (like the one in my sidebar) for showing your videos.
In this Business 2.0 article, Om Malik conied the term hyperaggregation to describe what we are doing. This is a fancy way of saying that video sharing sites like YouTube are aggregators of content, and so we’re a hyperaggregator since we can collect content from many aggregation sites.
Some of the cool features we have at vodpod include:
- Super-easy to add video to the site. We can take embeds from any video site that supports embed codes. You can add video to vodpod using a bookmarklet, video metasearch, rss feed subscription, or even upload directly to us if you like.
- Nice community features around your video. You can collect videos into one or more customizable pods. Each pod has a distinct URL. Your friends can watch, comment, rate, or emote about your videos.
- Video meta-search makes it easy to find videos from YouTube, Google, Dailymotion, iFilm or Comedy Central.
- Video feed reader. This is a new feature that we haven’t made much noise about, but it is pretty sweet. On our “Watch” tab you can watch videos that bring in to that page by processing rss feeds. The “secret sauce” is the fact that we figure out the embed code for the video from the feed, so you can watch the video right there on the page. This feature works with the big video sharing sites, blogs, and other sites (Reuters!). You can create new feeds by just entering an RSS URL. So it works like a feed video, but instead of text we bring you video from potentially hundreds of different sites right to your own page.
All in all it’s been great fun building vodpod, and getting great feedback from our growing community. Traffic and users are growing fast, so keeping the site stable while continuing to crank out new stuff has proven to be a challenge.