Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Widgets, video and a case study of success?

Regular participants in the conversation that is this blog may recall how last week VodPod's Mark Hall reached out after I'd mentioned my plan to add a particular video to VodPod had failed.
Well, Mark and I met yesterday in London. He was on his way from the States to Le Web in Paris. It seems we have some common thinking - around curation, communities gathering around passion centres, and how no one seems to be offering the replacement for advertising... yet!
VodPod interests me for all sorts of reasons. Here are some:
1. Between 15k and 20k bloggers etc have added one of the VodPod widgets to their own pages. Include Facebook and that number doubles. They haven't spent a money on marketing. This is how it works in the networked world where trust and word of mouth is created and shared within the network itself, not layered on later by a branding exercise.
2. Vodpod is now attracting 2m unique users a month. Not bad for a 'brand' from scratch in 12 months. 230,000 registered users have signed up, Up to 45,000 are actively curating their own collections of videos.
3. VodPod's approach has been to code to enable video sharing from almost any site. It can take video out of facebook, for example - no mean feat. So far it has found 1900 video source sites.
Yes, that's 1900. Most video sharing services cater for the top four or five and leave it at that.
4. The guys are able to run this on a shoe-string thanks to the every collapsing cost of technology, bandwidth etc.
VodPod is backed by VCs TrueVentures, out of San Francisco.
I'm hoping to talk more with Mark soon - an interesting bloke with an interesting company.


The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?