Boris Mann

Open Source. Community. Decentralized Web. Building dev tools at Fission. Cooks & eats.


BarCamp SF: The Jive Live, or how to make money from great video content

Greg Narain and I had a long discussion with the Jive Live team at BarCamp San Francisco. They take high quality video of all sorts of live events, from art openings to the Pride Parade here in SF, and then post it to their website. In some ways they think of themselves as a daily video newspaper.

We talked about using blogs and RSS and existing video communities to spread their content everywhere, to get traffic going to their site. They currently host their own videos, and Greg and I were of the opinion that as soon as they actually got significant traffic, their video costs would start going through the rough. The difficulties of success when it comes to video content on the Internet today...

A large part of the discussion centered around what we all would and would not do on the Internet, including talking about who subscribes to RSS, uses tags, etc. As I have said time and again, feel free to ignore the small part of the population that uses these tools directly....just stick the functionality on to your site, and the structured nature of RSS, the tag glue, and the automated tools and aggregators that are in place will blast your content around the Internet, which has the net effect of raising your Google ranking, which is really how everyone finds stuff on the Internet today. RSS = higher search ranking, enough said.

On the topic of using existing video communities, we went back and forth as to what kind of video those communities like (short stupid stuff for the younger crowd?) and how to get people back to your own website from that. Greg talked about branding: do intros and overlays on your video, plus link back to your website in the description. But, there is no denying that putting video into a community like YouTube can really increase traffic. But, of course, you have to use the tools: connect with people on YouTube, make groups, tag all your video, and cross promote all this with your blog.

But can YouTube help you make money? Directly, probably not. Our friend Micki Krimmel is now Director of Community over at Revver, which integrates advertising and pays you money for views of your video content. The Jive Live crew are in LA as well, so hopefully they can connect at some point., which I'm using from my cameraphone, is also supposed to be launching integrated advertising soon.

These seem to be more realistic avenues of making money directly from your video content (well, for freely shared video content -- you could also sell videos using Google Video).

At the end of our discussion, we set them up with a blog. Of course, long term they should integrate this directly into their website, and in fact re-vamp the website so episodes are in RSS feeds and people can subscribe to different categories of video directly, but this gives them an easy way to start experimenting.