From Nicholas Reville’s post from Sept 14, where he writes an essay that started as an email to BlipTV about why they need RSS:
Putting viewers at the center means giving everyone who wants to watch video a homebase where they can access videos from any hosting service or website. For miscellaneous videos, like the ones that have made YouTube so popular, this means a search engine that gives results from any service and let’s you watch what you find without jumping around from site to site.
For more serious videos– stuff that’s produced by known creators on a regular basis (like a daily or weekly show)– the best homebase is an RSS aggregator. The can be a desktop application (like the one we make) or a web-based aggregator. The important thing is that viewers can pull together video from anywhere on the web.
A. I am a huge fan of the Democracy player and the team behind it. It is almost exactly what I am looking for from a media aggregator (includes bittorrent-y goodness!) – channels, rss feeds, bittorrent integration.
B. RSS has been a game-changer in the social media space for a while now (driving content syndication, blogging, podcasting and videoblogging), and it is still in the early part of the adoption curve (but podcasting and video blogging are the kinds of things that have been increasing adoption recently). If we accept the idea of giving the users what they want on their terms (their chosen device, their favorite medium, timeshifting, placeshifting, etc) then RSS is the magic bullet. It not only meets the needs but it exceeds the needs. It requires users to do little more than discover and attach the feed to their aggregator – a not-to-insurmountable learning curve. For publishers it means being more open with their content (in this case video) and letting the work out there.
C. Broadband is more accessible now than every before. It is getting cheaper. We have more choices.
The best part of this article (and I can’t believe it took a month for me to find it:
Promoting your RSS feeds is counter-intuitive: why would you encourage users to leave your website? You should, because small services can’t and won’t beat YouTube and Google and MySpace at the web game. Those companies are too big, too well funded, and have hired too many talented people that will continue to improve their service. You are better off getting your viewers to subscribe to your content while you have them. In this way, video RSS lets hosting services innovate to attract publishers.
Now this was written before the YouTube purchase, but it is even more relevant now. Asa follow up, Mike Hudack at Blip.tv wrote a response to Nick’s post where, with a few execeptions, he is almost completely on the same page.
It’s incumbent upon the Internet community to prevent any one corporate interest or collection of like-minded corporate interests from controlling independent Internet video. Independent Internet video should be outside the control of the FCC and the giant media conglomerates of the world. The artists and the viewers should be making the decisions. That means that artists and viewers should embrace open standards, distributed technology and open platforms. We’ve done our best to make blip.tv the best choice for those who want Internet video to be open and free. Hopefully Nicholas agrees, and I’m really looking forward to working together with Nicholas, the Participatory Culture Foundation and the Web at large to make sure that we stay at the cutting edge of open media.
And then Mark chimes in (far more eloquently than I – especially ’cause I left out the media copy-pasting that is needed to take this to the next level – arrggghhhh) . It’s funny because this is just the sort of thing Ze Frank does with his intros, Jaffe does with his Across the Sound podcast (which is frakkin awesome) – the idea of consumers becoming producers… not just listening to podcast, but sending in an audio file as viewer mail, or sending a little snippet of home made video for the introduction