Pretty kick but start...
Overall... it needs more participatory content... but i see tremendous potential.
Some points... and ramblings.
1) The maps are beautiful, but are EXTREMELY slow on my 667mhz g4
powebook to the point of being useles. I realize my laptop is not the fastest thing in the world, but it handles google maps without a stutter so I don't get why it's choking
on your maps.
2) needs more content... I think you've got enough content to be
useful to the average user to start with... primarily because you mapped a lot of stuff
and are aggregating a lot of stuff. But the hardest part by far and the key to your success is still going to be to get users to start contributing. That's the hardest part by far.
My suggestion would to a) aggregate more relevant feeds from youtube, dailymotion, vimeo, wherever you can find them... both individual user feeds, and groups,
collections, gallery feeds... and to encourage users to create and
submit their own feeds.... Second I would also go after audio podcast
feed aggregation and photo feed aggregation.
The idea being DON'T compete with flickr, youtube and the dozens of
other hosts out there.. you can't win as a publishing platform... instead, at least for now
encourage users to post THROUGH these platforms. You will beat out
these platforms because you're the most OPEN kid on the block... for
example, looking at videos I've found on your site so far... pretty
much NONE of them are on youtube... there's some REALLY great alt
sports video podcasts out there... but there is no ONE service to keep track of them all.
Also... don't be afraid to aggregate from straight blogs at some point either.
I'd suggest letting users submit, and claim their vlogs, podcasts,
photo feeds... to make that step to what I call an "aggregatory social
network". The key cruxt of the aggregatory social network is that
increasingly content is going to come from OUTSIDE of the social
network... again I give the example of youtube... it may have the most
skateboarding videos and feeds but it certainly does not have the BEST
skateboard videos and feeds... and youtube's of no use for subscribing to and keeping up on these and the rest of the latest skateboarding feeds web wide.
Webjay, Mefeedia.com, Digg.com, delicious, bloglines, slashdot etc, etc, etc.
These are ALL social aggregatory networks... mefeedia is just the
first to do it with media and webjay the first with audio and music.
Eventually one day I think aggregation will be the core function of pretty much every social network... they'll become like self filtering media networks... a CNN turned
inside out... where users take in all news, info, and media on a
particular subject and self filter it from the bottom up instead of
I believe these networks will become as ubiquitous as PHPBB
websites or yahoo and google groups as the aggregatory tech becomes
more ubiquitous. I think ridertech is the natural state of one of these aggregatory communities. It could potentially be the very first aggregatory social media network to
focus on a communal or special interest instead of being a catch all like
delicious, digg, mefeedia, webjay and others.
To this I say I'm both excited, and congratulations, but you do have a LONG way to go befor you can give yourself a patt on the back. You need to do the hardest thing of
all... get the community to participate.
Oh... also... the other thing about aggregation... it's not just about
aggregation, but it's about adding value... I'm REALLY interested in
the concept of localism (aka. hyper-localism)... One of the things you
can do to add value is to work both with creators on the content end
to add geo data to their feeds and expecially individual posts... and
to give users on site tools to quickly and easily idenitify and mark
the locations of media.
Of course this is just an extention of what you are already doing with vlogmap, but I think it'll have even more value with alternative sports venues.
I could see you one day deriving a lot of your income from localized sponsorships by resorts and other businesses in geographic regions. Localism is where we can all kick the crap out of the 800lb gorrillas like google and yahoo.
We've been experimenting for some time with agregatory community at mefeedia.
One of our latest experiments is something we call "watchlists" or "guides".
Here's a great example.
After you create a guide of your favorite feeds you can then browse it
and even subscribe to it in itunes, fireant or democracy.
I would suggest... that maybe there's room for more partnership
between ridertech and mefeedia in the future... perhaps just to provide the simplest of examples, you'd like to be one of the first to sponsor some of our guides,
collections and communities dealing with related content to ridertech.
Mefeedia will never likely compete with you directly in your niche, the idea is in fact absurd... we're on different layers... and we intend to grow horizontally not vertically. we will only compliment you, we not only have much we can learn from each
other, us from your experiences with a tight nit community... you from
some of our innovations dealing with a broader range of media
aggregation... but we actually can serve both our communities better
through collaboration and complimenting each other... i.e. the stronger one grows the stronger the other grows.
I'm reminded of something brilliant I heard of Picasso the other day.
A real epiphany on the business of art, and the art of business.
First, a wise investor knows (especially since Enron)... that they
must hedge their bets, they must diversify their portfolio.
I was reminded of this when I heard that Picaso had one of the largest
collections of his contemporaries and peers of his era. He had one of the largest collections of contemporaries of his age. So much so there's actually a museum that houses his collection.
He didn't buy this incredibly valueable collection after he became rich... in fact he didn't selll many of his own paintings... just what he needed to or wanted to. Instead he traded paintings with his peers and contemporaries because he loved their works.
But here's the cruxt of what I'm trying to say. In an very odd and extremly innovative way that I think noone else realizes what this did was ensure that ALL his contemporaries wether they would find is level of popular and critical success or not would atleast had some value in their own personal collections.
Even if their own works never reach popular or critical acclaim... there's a large
likely hood that atleast some of their peers would succeed and that they will
have gained value not just in their collaboration with these artists,
but also in physically having a collection containing various of their
This is not planning for failure... this is in fact planning for success... and one should collaborate and collect and learn to love their peers and their peers work... otherwise I question wether they themselves actually love what they do... we are as peers at the very least each others biggest fans. This is why I'm working in this space after all. Because I love the tremendous amount of creativity and great people in this space... certainly not because of the money. LOL.
This sort of collaboration and hedging ones investments into one's peets is important to a sustainable culture because more and more I believe success is fickle... especially in the arts... of which there is no doubt... and very little reasoning why one artist becomes popular and wealthy in thier lifetime... while many greate artists die poverty stricken and outcasts... but also in the highly innovative and turmultuous web 2.0 world where business has become like art, and art more like war.
This is why... I keep telling people in this space that WE are each
others best assets... and that your competitors are your best
friends.... especially in the long tail of media makers and service
providers competitors and peers define us... advise us... and hopefully in the near future we'll all be able to very directly hedge our bets in a more tangible way.
What I would give to have invested a few dollars in youtube... so why
not ridertech... or my favorite vlogs... or why not dabble, and blip,
and vlog map and all my favorite serices.
Whom else is in this space that you love?
We can all succeed together... and there's very little downside to this proposition.
While this idea of hedging our time and investments in such a direct
and tangible way as Pablo Picaso did with his contemporaries is a VERY
new concept... and it may take some time to find ways to do this in
such tangible ways in the vlog space... it is clearer and clearer to
me that we are each others best assets and we should be doing more to
collarborate and exchange value between us.
My approach to this is "consulting and design, writing, advising and teaching"... I aim to build great factories and roadways of media... but I'm not to proud to sweep the floors on occasion... nor to vain to teach or share with others.
Many content makers are the same way.
It is not about competition... as I've been saying it is NOT that one or the other of us WITHIN this videoblogging community is going to beat out another in this community in some category... it is that some 800lb gorrilla like google or yahoo or
some well invested VC company venture from outside this space is going to come
along and take the market... which is exactly what happened with
youtube and will happen again and again.
Social media is a whole new universe... We are pioneers and
navigators... sailing new oceans... trying to find gold and the new
world. We can either find deep pocket investors... and take big
gambles... and risk catostrophic failure... or we bet on each other share information sailor to sailor and map this uncharted territory faster increasing all our likely
chance of success. Because this new universe of social media is so big
and unexplored thinking otherwords would be like warring with the 8
other ships sailing the atlantic before one even gets out of the harbor.
Yes... what I'm saying is we're what... 10 whole years into this internet thing? ... and two whole years into this social media thing. We are NOT even out of the harbor yet... and anyone who thinks that youtube's success was 'it' is a web2.0 bandwagon jumping dumbass who doesn't get squat. This will little revolution will playout in various stages throughout our lifetimes and beyond.
In short there is not only opportunity for ALL in this space to
succeed beyond their wildest dreams, but in collaborating we increase
ALL our chances.
I hope all content creators and webservices developers understnad just that one thing.
This is what we in the investment world call hedging yoru bets... it's just never been applied to cultural and social economics before... and should be done so with wideye, skepticism and a sense of experimentation and above all tremendous amounts of creativity.
As we come to understand 'social capital' better... (the base layer of
the economy which preceeds any montary transaction.... the 'economy
beyond money' as I like to call it) ...especially as we learn to quantify the
tremendously positive aspects of trust, connectivity, and networking... I think it
IS changing the nature of innovation.
Open source is a great example of hedging your bets....
havemoneywillvlog is another... creative commons, open access media, standards groups yet another... and I'm guessing there will be many more, and much more effective ones in the future.
One of my favorite people in this space who most reminds me of this is Jan of Faux Press. She is resolute in her lack of patience for people who think competitively and has a tremendous mind for collaboration... as do people like Jay dedman and those who've formed have money will vlog.
Kudos to them... kudos to everyone finding ways to collaborate, exchange value between each other... and sustain themselves and their interests regardless of wether the market is ready for them or not.
Now, some other points on the new ridertech.
3) copyright issues... better be careful about how you aggregate video... on some level there is NOTHING illegal about it... you can always back up to simply linking to videos instead of embedding them in your site... as webjay has clearly demonstrated... as well as google's lawsuits over image search and news aggregation... this may be a sticky new legal frontier for copyright... but there is always a path.. just make sure you give yourself room should someone arbitrarily one day send you a cease and decist... AND focus on adding value for them... ie. driving traffic and interest in that which you're aggregating... don't just leach.
On the one hand these video podcasters you aggregate might LOVE it (I know I do) on the other they might consider it theft. Best to give them as much atrib as
possible... and openly professor your love for what they're doing. You may also want to go to them sooner or later and open a dialogue... it's better than recieving a lawsuit claiming damages for the last 12 months.
It's quite likely some of these video podcasts might be some of your
best advertisers and sponsors in the future... as well as those local resorts and businesses I mentioned earlier.
I guess I've rambled enough for now.
So... congrats on your new launch,
I love that we're seeing social innovations trickle into particular market niches.
Where is the deviantart.org of this space? Where is the woodworkers group? Where is the home repair entusiasts social media network? Where is [insert favorite hobby here] media network... and why aren't the PHPBB and user groups like yahoo and google groups supporting media yet... and why doesn't youtube support images, text blog posts, and audio posts... and why doesn't flickr support video... and why doesn't mefeedia support images and regular old blog posts.
We've got a long way to go.
Disclaimer: you thought I profread this!? Ha! That's so funny!
On 10/31/06, Matt Savarino <leanbackvids@...> wrote:
> I've been taking the past few months off VlogMap and been working on
> Ridertech. After 8 years of operating as a personal website,
> Ridertech has joined forces with nwsnow.com and relaunched to create a
> community-driven skate/snow/surf/bike/moto/wake website.
> Registered riders from anywhere in the world can add a new action spot
> to the map and then any rider in the community can represent that
> location with their photos, videos and comments. In addition, there
> is a web-based video aggregator that breaks down podcasts by sport.
> This allows users to subscribe to all skateboarding podcasts in just
> one feed.
> Anyways, here are the new features...
> Home - http://ridertech.com/
> Map - http://ridertech.com/map
> Podcasts - http://ridertech.com/aggregator/categories
> Local Videos - http://ridertech.com/video
> Photos - http://ridertech.com/image
> Forums - http://ridertech.com/forum
> News - http://ridertech.com/news
> I'm still working on ...
> Webcams - http://ridertech.com/webcams
> Mobile - http://ridertech.com/mobile
> Rider Profiles - http://ridertech.com/profile
> Note, the new mapping features will be added to VlogMap version 3.0 -
> hopefully sooner rather than later.
> Let me know what you think.
> Yahoo! Groups Links