Log On, Watch This
Each week, our column takes you straight to the web’s top videos. Today: Matt Warman on video search site blinkx.com
As the amount of video available online grows by the day, its becoming harder and harder for users to sort the good footage from the bad - mainstream sites such as the BBC’s iPlayer continues to flourish in large party because they make it easy for viewers to find what they want. For the slightly more adventurous, however, video search site blinkx.com has launched several new features that aim to bridge the gap between an individual’s preferences and the massive amount of video out there. blinkx itself has 35 million hours of material available on the site. Called “Inform Me”, “Entertain Me”, and “Give Me My Own Channel”, the three main planks of the site point users initially to specific footage, but then allow them quickly to move on to other, related films. So “Inform Me” leads to news reports, and a section entitled “tags” then leads on through to linked subjects. That means there’s swift access to an archive of news reports about , say, MPs’ expenses and swine flu, but also to less serious matters. “Entertain Me:, on the other hand, offers a selection of YouTube style humour. But it’s the third plank that is the most interesting, and the interface that is behind blinkx’s appeal. Once viewers have an idea of what they like, “Give Me My Own Channel” creates a one-stop shop for those preferences. Claiming to be the world’s largest video search engine, blinkx’s films come from over 450 companies, including the BBC, ITN and a range of online broadcasters.