Designed to provide jet-setters with independently produced video content about international destinations, GeoBeats is a new travel site with professional-quality movies about subjects from the Finnish delicacy lamprey to social etiquette in Hong Kong. All the videos on the site are hosted and filmed by relative unknowns, but the movies are surprisingly well produced. Split up by topic, the videos attempt to cover basics like public transportation, seasonal festivals, and local culture. The site has launched with only a dozen countries, not as many as competitor TurnHere (see our coverage here). However, there are already more than 100 movies available … Read more
Don't be afraid of the creepy, mucus-like mascot. ChinSwing is a voice message board that pulls double duty as a flash audio player and voice-recorder. It's an interesting idea, but unfortunately using the service requires a 4MB plug-in for both IE and Firefox.
ChinSwing has a ton of categories for discussion, and tiny numbers (indicating topics) to help you see if there's any content within each category. There's also a just-uploaded section on the main page.
Voice messages are ordered chronologically, like a message board would be. Each discussion is separated into user submissions, and you … Read more
The San Francisco New Tech Meetup met at our offices Wednesday. Presentations were given by four interesting companies:
Vizu's new Answers service lets anyone create a market research poll, which is distributed to various sites and blogs that have an audience of visitors the researcher wants to poll. It looks like a really fast way to get basic product research done. It's not free: You pay to distribute your poll to the sites in the network that have agreed to run polls; they, in turn, make money for running your research. In other words, it's much like … Read more
StumbleUpon has added a video tool StumbleVideo to its social bookmarking service. StumbleVideo pulls content from YouTube, Google Video, and MySpace. Unlike the original StumbleUpon, there's no toolbar to download, and no signup required to use it. Registration has its benefits though: After the tool has figured out your tastes, it will bring tailored content to suit you.
The interface is very slick. After about 10 seconds of not touching your mouse, most of the player's GUI fades, leaving just the video on the screen. When a video finishes, hitting the giant Stumble button brings up another. If … Read more
Yesterday, I wrote about Gotuit's SceneMaker, a new tool for "deep-tagging" YouTube and Metacafe videos: pointing out notable moments within clips, and even splicing them so that portions of a longer video can be shared. The larger concept of deep-tagging is, to me, really interesting. In 2006, we saw an explosion of tagging functions just about everywhere, but is something like SceneMaker an indication that regular tagging just isn't enough?
I think it's a great idea. If you hear a catchy tune on the radio and it gets stuck in your head, and you don't know the artist, Humming Search could save your sanity. Plus, it's cool.
Or it would be if it worked. I tried humming several … Read more
You know what I'm talking about. It's not your favorite YouTube video, but it would be if it were shorter, because it's got one hilarious moment bogged down in nine minutes of dumb commentary and bumping the camera around. Some people say that's what you've got to deal with when it comes to user-generated amateur video. But it doesn't have to be that way, according to Boston-based broadband video start-up Gotuit Media. It launched a new Web tool today that's hoping to make online video content more, well, adaptable.
Until this point, Gotuit … Read more
Welcome to the social? Not exactly.
I spent a week trekking around San Francisco, Zune in tow, hoping to find more of the players to share music with. I nearly gave up in failure but finally found one other Zune on my downtown expedition.
It's early on, of course--the Zune has only been available for around a month. Still, one of the main reasons Microsoft is hoping that consumers will opt for the Zune over the iPod is the MP3 player's wireless sharing feature. And, as I found out, it's not much use if there is no … Read more
"I'm so tired of people talking about Web 2.0," says Sarah Meyers with a forced sigh. That's a lie, judging by her on-camera bouncing--platinum wig and bustier and all--as an unwelcome guest at a fete full of venture capitalists. Clearly she's relishing the access, the attention, and the ability to mock the scene while quaffing free cocktails and climbing into the cockpit of a parked miniplane.
VideoEgg has made a name for itself as a piece of webware that actually lets you tweak around with the videos you upload--as well as facilitate sharing, embedding, and revenue-reaping ads. Now it's making another step into the world of online video advertising with Tuesday's announcement of its EggNetwork VIBE (Viewer Initiated Brand Experience) ad model, which claims to have an answer to the age-old (okay, age-old in Web years) question: How can you make Internet ads less annoying?
The gist of VideoEgg's model: During or after a video clip that someone is watching, ask if the … Read more