Internet TV Guide - 60 Second Previews Of Internet TV Channels: The Channel Channel
Internet TV is expanding at a breathtaking rate, and 2006 has been the year of Internet video. But the sheer amount of video content out there makes finding something worth watching a sometimes grueling task. Let's face it, among the rare finds and priceless gems there is a lot of video junk cluttering up the web, and consequently an increasing need for content aggregation and filtering.
Internet TV guide The Channel Channel is a new venture hoping to make a difference here by serving up sixty-second previews of Internet TV channels, and then making it easy for you to subscribe to these channels through Media RSS. This simple, visual formula lets you make snap decisions based on what you see, rather than what you read about Internet TV content.
This makes it not only a great place to track down and try out Internet TV channels, but also to submit your own channel and give potential viewers the chance to get a quick, no hassle taster of the content you are offering up. 60 seconds of video takes next to no time to access even on slower computers, and the delivery of highlights in this compact pitch for your channel is an effective way of finding new audiences.
The Channel Channel is the latest part of the Participatory Culture Foundation's ongoing efforts towards open source, easily shareable, great looking Internet TV, and subscriptions can be added directly to the Democracy player, reviewed in its latest incarnation earlier this week. In my review, I described how Democracy TV has proven itself to be a single application capable of becoming a media gateway for all of your online video needs. The Channel Channel serves as a perfect compliment to the platform.
Think of it like this - the Channel Channel is like the little previews of blog posts you get in your RSS aggregator. Anyone that gathers updates from around the web using RSS will be familiar with the brief content excerpts featured along with the feeds. Very often, this couple of lines summarizing or taken from the beginning of a blog post allow you to make snap decisions about whether you want to read on or not. The Channel Channel uses the same principle, giving you just enough video for you to make a decision about whether you want to view more.
Or look at it another way, the Channel Channel serves up the Internet TV equivalent of movie trailers. This is a great approach for independent video producers who want to get more viewers following their video output. The web is swamped with video content, and if you want people to tune in to what you have to say, a little bit of viral marketing goes a long way.
While the Channel Channel can be viewed from its website, it can also be subscribed to as an RSS feed, using Democracy player or any other aggregation tool capable of reading Media RSS. In this way, it can be used to bring fresh content directly to your desktop, giving you fast, bite-sized samples of channels you may or may not choose to subscribe to. To my knowledge there is nothing else like this at the time of writing.
Sure, you can run searches for video content, and even subscribe to it via RSS, but a service that allows you to quickly and effectively choose from a channel's highlights - nicely squeezed into an elevator pitch - seems to me an excellent way of sorting weak content from strong, and introducing subscribers to video content they might never have found otherwise.
In this thirty second, breakneck trailer for the Channel Channel itself, you can get a good idea about how this could be an excellent way to bring viewers to your video blog, screencast collection, tech reviews, independent film-making or anything else you might want to commit to video and share online.
This is an opportunity for high-impact online marketing of your unique content. Just as companies and individuals alike have used blogging to build their presence online, so 2007 is likely to see a huge growth in homegrown Internet TV channels from all quarters.
As these niche-market channels grow, services like the Channel Channel will prove to be an essential asset in both getting content noticed, and helping viewers make snap decisions on the Internet TV channels they choose to subscribe to.
This is all well and good, but the fact is you still have to wade through the junk to find something good.
Don't want to do that? Well, I made a new blog where I pick out the videos. Now you don't have to worry about what to watch. Just check out http://eighteenhundred.blogspot.com and see if you like what you see.
posted by Michael Pick on Friday, December 8 2006, updated on Friday, December 8 2006