X|Media|Lab Melbourne: Brian Gruber, Fora.tv

Brian Gruber is doing an overview of online video, and “as a Jew, I’ll do the 10 commandments of online video”.

He introduced Fora.TV. The site starts with a very simple premise: We aggregate the best public event content in the world whether business conferences, arts and culture events. The content started off with mostly US content but is increasingly international. They have some impressive content partners including C-Span, indy bookstores like Politics and Prose, publications like Foreign Policy magazine and think tanks.

10 rules for online video:

  1. Banality will win out – Paris Hilton, YouTube, 50 years of LCD. There are 4000 videos of YouTube of men lighting their farts. We have 50 years of building our schedule around the idea of scarcity.
  2. Filters make the good stuff easier to find. Search engines. Forwarded (or recommended) content. Content aggregator sites. “Infinite Choice=Overwhelming Confusion
  3. Shift in value to aggregators. Declining production costs has led to a vast increase in content sources. Need for new filters.
  4. Technology drives down costs. The cost of shooting, posting and delivery are in decline.
  5. From destination to hyper-syndication. There is a shift from ‘my site’ to being an open presence. We’re going from control of the user to a viral network. Fora.tv have developed a range of content partners.
  6. My competitors are my collaborators. We were worried about YouTube. They put a three-minute clip of their longer form content on YouTube. Take a bit, put it on YouTube. They do ad revenue sharing with YouTube. C-SPAN (the US cable industry’s public affairs network). TED distributes their content on Fora. Media sites, such as Salon, give them free promotion.
  7. Go Global. We don’t want to be a US-centric site. We want global audiences because we’re going after global ad brands. On Christmas week, their highest sources of traffic was Teheran and Riyadh. They are looking to global sources and ‘ideas that transcend borders’.
  8. Media consumption is not only about viewing but also about participating. They show you related content so if you find content that appeals to you. They also chapterise the content. He showed a presentation of a conversation between Brian Eno and Will Wright about Spore. (Suw wants to know what’s happening with Spore. Anybody know?)

    They also have a transcript search. Click on the search results and the video jumps to that spot. Wow. You can download video formats such as mp4 for iPod or PSP or a PDF transcript. You can also, of course, link or embed the player. Even the embedded player has the chapter, search and transcript features.
  9. The FORA Ecosystem. Brilliant ideas. Content partners and tools for participating and navigating.
  10. It’s a wonderful life. He studied interactive media years ago but only now is the reality that his professors promised becoming real.

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