How to Find Videos Worth Watching

Just discovered Vidque.com via Steve Garfield, and it’s another example of a site built to solve the fundamental problem for those of us that don’t live in online-video.

What the hell do we watch?

Since I just spent more than a couple hours navigating Vidque, creating a profile and critiquing it… you’d better f’ing read this. Vidque allows you to bookmark, share and find good videos, and operates fairly seamlessly with Twitter and YouTube. At first it looks like a curator site (or another video-sharing site) because the homepage boasts some good videos. But you need to look deeper to find the cooler functions or see the potential it might have.

I’ve set up my own Vidque.com Nalts page (featuring, of course, only my own videos). I’ve got one follower and his name is Lukas. I’m following him now. We’re instant BFFs.

vidque

Here’s my critique… first, what I like:

  • I like the idea of a tool that easily integrates with Twitter and YouTube, and allows communities to help each other sift through videos. YouTube is working toward solving that, but it doesn’t appear to be Google’s priority.
  • Vidque got a smooth API with YouTube and it functions fairly well. Although this was not immediately apparent, there’s an easy bookmark tool so you can favorite videos (moving them into your Vidque favorites) right from YouTube. Click here for a video about how that’s done.
  • Very Web 2.0 design. Not too crowded looking.
  • The homepage had some great videos selected, and current/fresh ones. Someone’s picking them, or there is some intelligence behind it.
  • I am inclined to send people to my page because it was easy to customize, looks clean and allows me to sort out my best videos. I would expect the site gives us additional options for sorting (beyond stupid “category,” which is almost unnecessary). The networks will take care of that… I have business friends and humor friends and I’m damned sure not going to follow the eyeballs of by business friends. I’ll know if it comes from Jan it’s going to be awesome, funny or sometimes representing some weird political agenda that’s way over my head. Zack may “favorite” a few shitty Weezer videos, but hopefully he leads me to the last unboring Coffin video. I’m not touching the entertainment section because an entire screen full of Buckley‘s recent videos will frighten me. Mabye Marquis will tip me off to something totally wacked (as we await Beth’s return). If only he knew that my sister, Mathilde, and I speak of him more often than our siblings.

What I don’t like, and hope Vidque will evolve:

  • Biggest mistake is the homepage design. Because it focuses on a collection of videos and a category-style primary navigation it first feels like another video-sharing site. The site should put the people (now buried as “recently active users” in the bottom-left corner) at the center. Encourage people to curate, and reward them in non-monetary ways for finding stuff people like. Designate “editors” and “super editors” (by category if you must) and allow us to subscribe once we realize their favorites are consistently good.
  • It took me too long to understand it’s not just another video-sharing site or simply curated video, but crowd-sourced, community sharing. The cute but slow overview video helped.
  • I’d like the ability to search people, and find out what they’ve identified as good video. But beyond the “recently active users” I couldn’t search or sort curators unless we had done that via e-mail or the antiquated “invite your friends” option we all skip anymore. Basically I want to “follow” some people, but don’t know where to start. Twitter made that easy because as soon as I found one friend, I could quickly find a flock. Nutcheese invited me to Twitter, and I just followed all of her peeps. Then I found CharlesTrippy and followed his followers or followees.
  • I hope Vidque will give us what Twitter and YouTube don’t provide: allow me to “follow” people in different ways: some as “I like you and I’ll check your page now and then” and others as “I know what videos you identify will consistently amuse or interest me… I want them pushed to me via Twitter, Vidque, or even e-mail.”
  • I was disappointed to find very old videos on the humor section (puleez- that Dave Blaine parody again? Really?) because the homepage made me think I was getting fresh content. I would strongly suggest having an intuitive navigation separating fresh or newly popular content from old classics.
  • Until the site automates it, the homepage and “categories” should rotate more… right now it doesn’t feel dynamic.
  • Bit buggy (logging in, and some error messages when feeding it YouTube URLs manually. Feels like a beta.
  • I like how it grabs YouTube content and embeds it via API. It even grabs the thumbnail I chose, which isn’t even true with AppleTV (which is still using defaults). But it’s still too “stand alone” because I can’t import my YouTube favorites or a playlist… so only as worthwhile as we make it from now on. Populating favorites is very cumbersome and counter intuitive until you realize you can do this via a bookmark tool. For instance, when I’m done with one, there’s no “post another.”

I wouldn’t have spent the time reviewing this site (with an unfortunately forgettable name) if I didn’t think this is opening up a new door to video content identification and sharing. I’ve oversubscribed on YouTube and we know the “most popular” and “most watched” aren’t necessarily serving us.

If a few of my friends (or people whose taste I share in video) start using it, we’ll be able to swap videos without the intrusion of “StumbleUpon” or cluttering our Facebook, Twitter or other social-media tools overwhelming us all. I’ll give it a shot, and start saving some videos that aren’t mine. But Vidque better allow me to give my own videos top billing. 🙂

Hey WVFF back row: Jan? Marquis? Nutcheese? Zack? Reubnick? Coffin? Who’s in?

Author: Nalts

Hi. I'm Nalts.

10 thoughts on “How to Find Videos Worth Watching”

  1. I tried registering but it kept telling me I had the “wrong email address”. What does that even mean? I’m pretty sure I know my email address.

  2. nice site, didn’t look around it as much as you did, perhaps this weekend…

    I use http://vodpod.com
    mostly because it’s attached to WordPress.COM
    it allows you to embed videos outside of youtube and google so they show up on your blog. Has a bunch of features and keeps track of all your videos which is really helpful. I’ll explain more if anyone is interested.

  3. alright Nalts, I’ll give this thing a shot, but ONLY because you asked me to. It will be like Twitter, except instead of CharlesTrippy, you are Nalts, which is even better.

    No, that’s actually true. CharlesTrippy actually invited me to join twitter over a personal email years ago when Twitter was still a baby nobody cared about. I still don’t understand it. Of course, that guy doesn’t follow me anymore, anyway….

    Most importantly, how do you even pronounce this website’s name anyway? Is it “Vid-Cue”, or “Vidke?” Maybe it is even “Vid-kway”…

  4. last thing I’m going to say here, but I just hope the VidQue people don’t expect those freaky TV head looking guys they had in the tutorial video to be their equivalent of the blue Twitter bird. Those things are really kind of creepy and emotionless.

  5. I found your review very interesting, mostly because I work for http://vodpod.com which offers some similar functionality. Some of your critiques of Vidque apply pretty well to us too. By the way, we offer lots of import tools including YouTube uploads and favorites.

  6. I went over to this site and did a search on the lot of you, well, all three of you, and the search gave me zero results. Other than another place to promote your videos – I’m not super impressed, there are a gazillion sites like this already, not to mention the layout of the place reminded me of revver – a lot!

    vidque, meh –
    pollice verso mea culpa

  7. Great article Nalts. We had everyone at VidQue read it over, as we agree with all the points you mentioned.

    Some of the elements in your “don’t like” list we are actually working on adding. Particularly the index page design which we are working on right now.

    We are a small team that wanted to create a product for ourselves as well as our users. We want to make sure we only work on features that will be useful to most.

    By staying small we hope to have a more open communication to our users.

    If you have any future tips or ideas of what we can improve please feel free to send it into us at info@vidque.com

    We are working on some great and innovative features in the next couple of weeks.

    If anyone experiences any bugs please send it in to us, and we will fix them asap.

    We look forward to working with you building a common vision for VidQue.

    Cheers
    Johanna

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