Kyte is everything YouTube isn’t

When evaluating video sharing services for Sociaspot, I ran across Kyte TV.

Yes, YouTube has channels and categories, but its offering is very basic. Kyte TV has raised the bar so high, I would venture to say they are in a league of their own.

With Kyte you create a channel and produce shows (which are like episodes) via their show producer tool. The tool allows you to upload pictures & videos, record from your webcam or mic and create content such as slide shows, polls, and videos with authorized music content from large labels.

The Kyte difference – Mobility and Interactivity

Interactive

Whats unique about the Kyte app is that while your watching a channel you can see how many people are watching the same channel real time, and are able to chat with those people via text, webcam or audio.

Mobile

Kyte has developed a mobile application that allows you to create, share, and comment on the go. With the Kyte app you have a mobile version of the show producer tool and can interact with your audience on the go. The Kyte mobile app is supported on a number of Nokia and Sony Ericsson phones, but even without the app you can still upload content to a channel via Email or a WAP browser.

The Social Aspect

One thing that all stand alone video sharing site have in common is their lack of context. By connecting the Kyte channel to social networks you can now empower the user to broadcast “near time” and be able to interact with the crowd in a much more practical and relevant manner.

I see a real potential for this product to be a blockbuster in this sector. If Kyte finds the right partner that pushes their product in a way that makes their value self evident

Heres a sample Kyte channel:

[kyte.tv appKey=MarbachViewerEmbedded&uri=channels/9016&embedId=10027852&locale=en]

I want to change the way people communicate

Well, pardon the cheap attempt at being kitschy, but think of it this way. A friend sends you an invitation to her birthday party by sending a card in the mail. You use Email to RSVP that your coming, and use the phone on the day of the party to ask if you should bring ice.

 My point is, 3 communication methods were used, to discuss the same topic, the birthday party. Follow the thread, your friend chose to use the postal service, you chose to reply via the web, and followed up with another response via the telephone network.

 This simple example shows that in our every day lives we choose different, often, most convenient ways to communicate with others.

Communications should not be dictated by the platforms on which they are carried. If you get an Email from someone, do you ever think that Emailing them is the ONLY way to communicate back? I don’t think so… Why should communicating on Social Media sites be any different?

On Sociaspot, its your choice!.

You choose what type of message you want to send, and let your friend choose how to respond. You can send a video message, and your friend can choose to TXT you a response. You can send a voice message and get an Email as a response, and so on.

Since these messages are initiated on the Sociaspot platform, you don’t have to give out your number.

Go about your daily life, and your Sociaspot friends will be able to get in touch (if want them to, that is).

It’s time for social networks to open up

Scott Gilbertson of Wired Magazine wrote an article about how imperative it was for social networks to allow their users not only to bring content into the social network (pictures, comments, updates, everything thats social about a social network) but also to allow them to export that content.

Here is a bit of what he wrote:

“…When entering data into Facebook, you’re sending it on a one-way trip. Want to show somebody a video or a picture you posted to your profile? Unless they also have an account, they can’t see it. Your pictures, videos and everything else is stranded in a walled garden, cut off from the rest of the web.

Like locked cell phones and copy-protected music, Facebook is on the wrong side of the open-network debate. Facebook is a sealed bubble. Facebook users are locked into Facebook, just as iTunes locks music fans to Apple’s iPod.” – Link to article

I couldnt agree more, and this problem exists for most if not all social networks, its just an inherent part of the way they think and operate.

While building Sociaspot, we noticed this flaw early on. We decided that if you spend time creating a page that is a reflection of your life, your interests and your mood, you should have a way to share that with others who are not members of the same network.

To most networks it makes sense to opearte the way they do because they use it as a recruiting tool to get more users (something that has worked well for Myspace and the like). But it is high time to think of a differemt better way to attract new users and let non members see member content without having to even browse the pages of your social network.

For Sociaspot, we decided that we will let you EXPORT most parts of your profile. This means that you could export your list of friends, places, scenes and events calendar all as separate widgets.

As an example, lets say your an events promoter, and you’ve built an elaborate website for your business, but use Sociaspot to manage your events calenard and guest list, you could use the EXPORT feature in Sociaspot to plug those widgets into your existing website, and viola!, visitors to your website can now see the content you’ve already built, but also see the calendar of events, and those who are coming to the events, all fed through the Sociaspot widget.

 To me, this makes perfect sense. Let’s see if the industry agrees.

“Killing the photo album”

Photo Albums belong on your bookshelf

Back in the old days of film photography, photo albums made perfect sense. You needed a way to organize countless photos by date, time, event, etc. Photos are sensitive to direct sunlight and are printed on paper that fades over time. Photo albums allowed you to organize and protect those sentimental treasures.

I won’t bore you with the advantages of digital photography, but as it’s popularity grew, so did the need for you to be able to store and protect your digital photos, a sort of “digital” photo album. The web was able to supply these needs and add a third component: sharing.

Not much has changed

With services such as photobucket and flickr, you can now store, protect, and share your digital photos (and videos) with anyone online. Sounds great you say…I think so too.

But, even in the digital age, it seems we are still not rid of the photo album. Much like having a bookcase full of albums organized by vacations, weddings, family events etc. sites offer the same type or organizational structure.

You create a virtual photo album and upload content to it. You can create slideshows and remixes, Facebook even allows you to specify who’s in the picture, but the overall structure of how content is organized has not changed since the advent of the photo album.

The Challenge

When developing Sociaspot, I sat with the engineers and challenged them to come up with a better solution. In the new Web 2.0 world there must be a better way to organize content and a better way to present it to those interested in viewing it. Let’s find a way to kill the photo album.

Innovation

First, we dropped the archaic distinction between pictures and videos. If you upload content you shot at a friends birthday party, do you really care whether it’s a picture, video, or YouTube embed, you just want to see it. Why make someone browse through pictures, and then go to another section to browse videos or embeds all of which are related to a single event?

Second, we combined all elements into one area and called it “Media”. Our Media section allows you to upload all types of content to one central bucket and add as many tag words as you want.

We were surprised by the outcome, and its unintended consequence. This simple process has unlocked a tremendous capability. By tagging anything and everything that is interesting to you on any media item, you can now easily find your content regardless of media type or “photo album” name.

For example, if you want to pull up all your media content that was shot at the beach, or where your wearing your favorite sweater, or have a certain hairstyle, as long as you tagged it as such, its just a search away. With organization by tagging you can now group media by way of relevance AND reference rather than the old “photo album” structure. Gone are the days of sifting through album after album looking for that one set of pictures, or having to remember if that funny picture your friend took of you on that bus was in the “summer 2006” album or the “Cancun Vacation” album.

On Sociaspot we empower you to save these tag words as filters so that finding your content is just one click away. We also allow you to make your saved filters public. This way, people visiting your profile can view your media elements in the way that you arranged them. You can create a filter called scuba diving and any media element present or future that contains the tags “scuba diving” will immediately be viewable on your profile under that filter.

Attached is a screenshot of the media interface on Sociaspot     Media section on Sociaspot

Try it out on Sociaspot, it might one day be the de-facto way to organize digital media.

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Welcome to my blog

I’ve been working on Peopleizer for a year. My partner and I started Peopleizer as a technology services company set to offer innovative tools to empower social media websites, and in the process we developed our flagship social network Sociaspot (currently in private beta).

New social media sites are launching every day. Some are niche sites, some cater to a larger audience, all trying to figure out what people want. Working on Sociaspot I have the fortune of being able to create a social networking site that addresses the fundamental flaws in today’s leading sites and create the next generation social networking website.

In this blog I will write about my experiences, share my thoughts and ideas, and of course write about Peopleizer & Sociaspot

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