ClipBlast is a video search engine that was created in 2007. Its main intent was to provide a user-friendly interface for easy navigation for searching for videos. Quickly, it became the fastest growing distribution platform in history. Mostly with the help of video sources such as Hulu, YouTube, Vimeo and more. With new video search engines continuously entering the market, the market became fully saturated and ClipBlast reinvented itself through Griddeo.com.
Griddeo was created as a move away from the typical video search engine platform and into more of a curation site focused on channels and social networking. These channels are formulated by your Facebook likes and interests, other users on the site, and by yourself as a user through your ability to create personal playlists. Griddeo has been able to leverage the video inventory from ClipBlast as well, which began organizing and indexing the video web in 2006. It also still uses the various sources listed above. This inventory is continuously growing as they still “crawl” for videos on the web.
The switch to video curation was inspired by the need to narrow down the abundance of videos on the web. This has cluttered users searches and made it difficult to find videos rele
vent to them. The curation system that Griddeo employs offers numerous ways to narrow down searches by using channels as the primary way to search for videos creating a personalized way of finding videos. It does this in the following ways.
- Griddeo automatically subscribes you to channels based off your likes and interests on Facebook.
- You can create your own channels by clicking the “+” sign under a video and adding this to an existing channel or new channel.
- Friends & Followers on Griddeo can recommend or share channels with you and you can do the same with them.
- You are able to search the many categories of channels available on Griddeo to narrow down your search. Then find a playlist in this category that fits what you are looking for.
- Utilizing all these channels, you can create your own channels based off the videos that are contained in your subscribed channels.
This channel-based system is very useful for finding relevant content and does most of the “video search” portion for you. For the remainder of this chapter we will focus on Griddeo as opposed to ClipBlast. After ClipBlast.inc shifted their focus to Griddeo, they ceased adding videos to ClipBlast. Therefore, the newest video you will find on that site is from May 1, 2011.
Specialized search strategies
The main way Griddeo differentiates itself from Google Videos is its focus on curation. This means that the search strategies Griddeo employs are very different from Google Video’s. These strategies are more focused on finding playlists (channels) that interest you and then creating personal channels based off the channels you are currently subscibed to.
It automatically subscibes you to a number of channels by signing into your Facebook. Based on your likes and interests it formulates channels that are relevant to you. This is Griddeo’s way of automatically curating a channel and subscribing it to you, making it easier to curate personal channels in the future. As you can see below, it creates a Network for you to find channels, navigate your personal channels, and connect with friends who are using Griddeo.
On top of that, you can browse the various channels by clicking on the “Channels” icon in the top bar of the site. This takes you to the page shown below. There are 3 features in the “Channels” section to make browsing for channels easy and tailored towards you.
- Featured Videos: This gives you a list of channels that are popular on the site. Once you find one that you like, simply add it to your network and more videos will be added to your video library.
- Categories: This provides you with a list of categories that narrow down your search for channels.
- All Channels: In this part of the site, you can navigate through all the channels on the site. They could be standard channels based off the video hosts that Griddeo sources their videos from or they could come from channels that other users have created.
The last way to search for videos is by clicking on the blue “griddeo (beta) icon in the upper left hand corner. Within this part of the site you can search for any videos that are relevant to you through your existing channels.
When looking for videos this way, you have the option to watch the video, see comments for the video, and add it to a custom playlist by clicking the “+” icon. This is seen at the bottom of the graphic below.
Once you have navigated through all these search options you will have created channels from:
- Facebook preferences
- Categories of channels
- Featured channels
- Browsing channels
- Friends channels
- Personal channels using the “+” icon
Once you have selected these channels you can search through all your channels on your network (shown above). Then add these channels to a personal playlist (channel) to narrow down the videos in your inventory.
How to use
To use Griddeo most effectively, you will want to utilize the specialized search strategies listed above. This is a 5 step process.
- Login using your Facebook ID
- Navigate the site via the various search strategies to add channels to your “network.”
- Invite friends to your network to increase your options for video curation.
- Add videos within the search option or within your channels to personal playlists.
- Share your playlists to add to the channels listed in the Categories section and to potentially be listed in the “featured channels.”
After this is completed, this will be able to watch all your videos by clicking on the “watch” button at the top of the page. You will then be directed to your “grid” which is shown below.
Comparison with Google Web search
There are many benefits for using Google Video search, however, it serves a very different purpose then Griddeo. Griddeo is more focused on video curation – creating playlists in the form of channels to filter through videos. The playlists already residing on the site lay the foundation for forming personal playlists.
Google Video, on the other hand, is great for a simple video search. It is far superior to Griddeo in this respect because of the various search operators you can use and the filters Google provides. Google Video allows you to put quotations around certain words to place emphasis on that portion of the query. It also has the capability of using all the search operators Google offers in their typical web search. As far as filters go, you are able to narrow down your search by source, video quality, date added, and duration. These are all features that are not possible within Griddeo.
However, Griddeo allows you to create your own playlists and channels through various channels already residing on the site. It also has a social component to it through the “My Network” section of the site. This is where Griddeo serves a very different purpose from Google Videos.
Another aspect of Griddeo that Google Videos lacks is the inventory of TV shows hosted on the site. This is primarily because Griddeo sources from Hulu while Google Videos does not.
These are all personalized through the Facebook login on Griddeo. Google Videos does not have this ability, hindering them from customizing video search to each user. Griddeo, on the other hand, can determine what channels and videos are best tailored to you through your likes and interests, automatically filtering through the mass video content on the web. This reduces the need for the search operators and filters that Google Videos employs on their platform.
How to get the most out of Griddeo
There are many ways to optimize your video search experience using Griddeo. A list of them is as follows:
- Sign in with Facebook.
- Get Friends and Followers to share channels/videos with each other.
- Search for Other Channels using the specialized search techniques above.
- Create Custom Channels by using the “+” button.
- Share these channels with others.
Griddeo also has a point system that measures activity on the site. You receive points in the following ways.
This is a great indicator of effective use of the site. Since sharing is a necessary component of Griddeo’s success, this makes up a large portion of the point system. Also, you get 100 points for creating your own playlist because it wants to increase the amount of channels on the site. Lastly, in order for channels to be featured and recommended to other users it is necessary to watch videos – this will earn you 25 points.
From this, we can determine that by sharing, creating, and watching, you can get the most out of Griddeo.
Since these two video search sites serve very different purposes, I would recommend them for different reasons. Google Video serves the purpose of a general video search. Therefore, it is less customizable and should be used for more specific searches. Griddeo gives you a more personalized experience. It tailors videos to you in the form of Channels and offers the user a multitude of ways to add relevant videos to playlists and share these with friends. It is a great combination of video search, curation, and social media.
Reasons to use the Google Video Search platform are as follows:
- Looking for a specific video: Google Video has filter capabilities that exceed Griddeo’s. Therefore, you could use the Google search operators and filters (source, video quality, date added, duration) to find exactly what you are looking for.
- Trending videos: Since Google Video also has a number of sources, you could use this to figure out what videos are most popular based off the relevance of your search.
Overall, I would recommend using Griddeo for a more personalized video experience. The main benefits include:
- Automatic subscriptions generated from your Facebook account.
- Ease of finding channels/videos based off your Facebook preferences to find relevant videos.
- The abundance of TV shows that are hosted on Griddeo from Hulu.
- The ability to add friends to your network and share channels with them.
- Ease of finding relevant videos through your channels videos and channel inventory.
These benefits all come down to ease of discovery. It is very easy to get overwhelmed by the mass media on the web, and Google Video simply does not narrow it down far enough for everyday use. Google Video gives you the same experience each time you enter the site. Griddeo, on the other hand, is consistently updating your channels, recommending channels based off your personal playlists, and tailoring the experience to your personal preferences every day through their curation mechanism.
Due to this, I think Griddeo will be more worthwhile for a user if they are looking for a video program guide that can be continuously used. Google Video is simply good for a general search. They both serve different purposed as a tool for video search, but Griddeo’s channels, user-friendly interface, and social aspect gives a more personalized touch to the user and makes video search much simpler and relevant.
Griddeo Blo,g http://blog.griddeo.com/
The switch to Griddeo from ClipBlast, http://gigaom.com/video/griddeo/
Video about Major Web Search Engines for Video, http://www.youtube.com/watchfeature=player_embedded&v=NatGBcpTz0A#t=34s
Video Search Sites Video, http://www.youtube.com/watchfeature=player_embedded&v=3J4BDkgIV7U#t=26s
About the Author
Patrick Lockrow is a senior BBA student at the University of Michigan. He is currently working towards a career in Business Information Technology and will be working at Cisco Systems this coming year.