apologies to raymond carver
We often get asked — by friends, family, potential investors — “What’s Vodpod?”
We know all about the art of the elevator pitch, the need to have a pithy line to throw out. But when you spend most of your waking hours thinking about and working on a service or product, you naturally resist the urge to simplify. It’s hard to distill everything your service is and does into a pithy sentence.
But a conversation with one of our engineers (@aphyr) last week reminded me of the importance of having a simple line or two. He mentioned how hard to explain to his family what he does, and why they might want to use Vodpod.
I thought, “I’ll write down what I say to my friends and share it with the team.” Then I thought: I should just write a blog post.
A place where people make their own video channels, by collecting videos they like from 10,000s of sites on the web — including YouTube, Hulu, the BBC, Comedy Central, and more.
Why would I use it?
Because it’s a really great way — the best way, even — to find and watch video. People who make channels on Vodpod comb through the gazillions of videos on the web and find the best stuff — the best so far as their tastes are concerned, their interests.
And because we have nearly a million members, including tens of thousands who collect a lot of videos, you’re likely to find people on Vodpod who share your interests, share your tastes. And through them, you can find great videos you’ll want to watch. You can browse through and watch their collections, and “follow” the people you really like so that you get notified when they add new stuff you.
If you’re interested, you can build your own channel so you can share videos you find on the web with your friends or peers.
How is Vodpod different than YouTube?
The main difference is that people upload video to YouTube; on Vodpod, they collect video from around the web.
Why does that matter? On Vodpod, you’re seeing the very best videos no matter where they are hosted. You’re more likely to find and watch videos of interest to you because you’re watching videos, selected by people on Vodpod for their channels, who share your tastes and interests. Including YouTube videos — in many ways, Vodpod is the best place to find and watch the best YouTube videos.
How is Vodpod different than Facebook?
On Facebook, you’re sharing photos and links and videos with friends, and seeing photos and links and videos your friends share. Some of the things your friends share may be interesting, some not as much.
On Vodpod, you’re watching videos not (only) from friends, but from people who share your tastes and interests. People you might not know, or have never heard of, but who are really really good at finding the best videos. So you’re more likely to find and watch videos you like.
How is Vodpod different than Twitter?
On Twitter, as on Vodpod, you can follow people who share your interests and tastes; not just people who are your friends.
But on Twitter, you’re seeing links to lots of things — photos, blog posts, videos, websites. People you follow might be good at linking to the day’s best blog posts (or, at promoting their own!), but they might not be that good at finding and linking to great videos. That’s what people do on Vodpod.
Also, people are building collections on Vodpod. It’s rarely you go back and look at someone’s “tweets” — but on Vodpod, if you’re in to music, you might get lost for hours watching a collection like this one.
The bottom line is this: if you like watching video — and let’s be honest, who doesn’t — there’s no better service or site for you than Vodpod. We’ll connect you with people on Vodpod who share your tastes and interests, and through them you’ll be able to find great, interesting videos relevant to you and your tastes. From YouTube, and from 10,000s of sites. And, if you’re inspired by them, you can build your own channel and provide the same service for your friends, and for anyone else who share’s your interests, your tastes.