Wednesday April 25, 2018

NY Convergence ORIGINAL

NY Video Meetup: Video Overload Cured By Curation #NYVM

(l-r) Stephen Meyers and Aron Schoenfeld of Vlassified show off their site at the Meetup (credit: Lauren Keyson)

By Lauren Keyson

When Steve Rosenbaum, the host of last night’s NY Video Meetup event was working on his first book called Curation Nation, he discovered that the content being created on the web was growing exponentially. “A lot of times you hear people say ‘well this is just a blip, it will slow down.’ But the evidence is just the opposite; more people are going to have mobile phones with more upload capability, they are going to have more devices and more people are getting online — so that the volume of stuff on the web has no sign of slowing down.  An example today is that Facebook hosts 140 billion photographs in which 70 billion have been uploaded in the last 12 months.”

It turns out that video selection is one of the hardest problems. Unlike text, which can be searched, when someone publishes a video there is no way to know if it is good or not until they press play. “By the time a viewer does that, particularly if there is an ad in front of it, they’re already 45 seconds in before they realize that’s not what they wanted,” said Rosenbaum. “What you are seeing at the NY Video Meetup tonight and the last few months is that more and more people are doing a better job of creating tools to curate video.  Say you’re looking for music videos you might go to a place that is a general interest video destination but you also might increasingly go to a specialized site.”

Aron Schoenfeld’s Vlassified could be considered a curation tool. It’s a video advertising and classified platform that focuses on teaching people how to find videos about things that are for sale.  The company partners with local papers and community gatekeepers. “How can the ads come to life for people to see who they’re buying them from, or get a real feel for what they are getting?  There could be a 12-year-old with an ad for babysitting, but is it a trustworthy kid or is it a kid with a spiked Mohawk and earrings promoting his services with a cigarette in his hand?  It’s no different than a 30 second commercial on TV, but our site is made at price points for small local businesses. You can make a video for $8.95 through our technology and post it for free for seven days.”

Dina Smyth, senior director for Vizu, feels that her company’s real time brand life analytics platform could be considered a web curation tool because it simplifies finding out if a media campaign is working. “The platform is based on brand-lift elements as opposed to click-through and engagement metrics at so that users can turn their campaigns around into high performing campaigns,” she said.  “We are adding a new perspective to ad rate performance — the click-through rate has been under fire for some time.  The brand-lift measure that we use is simple, because we don’t do multiple survey questions, and we’re not a market research company. We are simply informing around the performance of a live campaign.”

Outbrain, a video recommendations solution for publishers, is also helping to manage digital overload on the web.  “People are getting more annoying  links through Facebook and Twitter, and we are trying to give them  links that are very specifically aimed at them  based on what they’ve looked at on other sites before,” said Tim Kane, director.  ”Our company originated from the idea of finding  a better way to add value to publishers and their readers online without subjecting them to sketchy ads and frankly overloading them with crap. We’re trying to bring quality links to different publishers we work with.”

To sum it up, there are massive numbers of viewers looking for videos and it’s getting harder to deal with the entire overload.   “The reality is the web isn’t a distraction, it’s a community,” said Rosenbaum.  “When I hear people say you should go on a digital diet, I totally disagree with that. I think you should choose wisely the sites you read and the things you follow.  Digital overload isn’t going to slow down but the tools to manage it are going to be on the horizon.”