Posting And Tracking Flash Video
My four rules for the future of media are:
1 – Microchunk it – Reduce the content to its simplest form.
2 – Free it – Put it out there without walls around it or strings on it.
3 – Syndicate it – Let anyone take it and run with it.
4 – Monetize it – Put the monetization and tracking systems into the microchunk.
I’ve been enjoying my front row seat watching the team build a web video show at Wallstrip and they have been following those four rules with considerable success. Each week their shows get more views and reach more unique viewers than the week before.
But I’ve noticed that two pieces of infrastructure are apparently missing in the flash video world and I am curious if anyone is building them.
The first is an easy tool to syndicate flash video to all the major video "portals". Wallstrip is available today at eight locations/players; Revver (their default player), YouTube, Google, Yahoo!, AOL Uncut, vSocial, Veoh, and MetaCafe. I am sure they will add more locations/players as they find new places with significant audiences.
But they have to upload to each and every one of these services. There is no "meta uploader". In the blog world, there is RSS which allows you to write once, publish anywhere. I am not aware of the equivalent in the flash video world. I wonder if all of these services could use RSS to allow people to do a meta upload. Of course there are reasons why such a system would be bad, mainly spam, but I still believe it needs to exist because there isn’t going to be one place on the web where everyone watches video (as much as the Google/YouTube combo is potent).
The second problem is tracking all the views on all these services and where the views are coming from. It’s simple enough (although time consuming) to visit each service, locate the video, and find out how many views it has gotten. But because most (maybe all?) of these services allow the video to be embedded elsewhere, you really don’t know where the views are coming from.
In the webpage world, you put a pixel on a page, it reports to a service like Sitemeter or Google analytics or FeedBurner/Blogbeat, and you can learn all kinds of stuff about how much your page is viewed, who is viewing it, where the traffic is coming from, etc.
In the feed world, thanks to FeedBurner, you can get the same stats on your feed.
As far as I am aware, you cannot get a service like that in the flash video world. But we need one.
I would like the "meta" uploader to also put some kind of tracking code into the flash video so that I can simply visit a page on the meta uploader service and get stats on all my flash video views, no matter what service is hosting them and no matter what flash player they are distributed in.
If you know of such a service or if someone is building it, let me know. I am interested.