As we continue to refine the studio and broadcasting tool, ( or as some would call them, toys ) at our disposal in the Phoenix studios, this past week we started the process of uploading our video content to third party news and video search engines. The reasons for this are both to test our technology but also to broaden the reach of The Settlement Channel into the newly developing area of audio and video search engines.
The Google Video search site is here. Click to check it out and type in Settlement Channel or other topics to test it out. I have to be honest, we aren't at all pleased with the video compression and display tool that Google is using, as you'll see for yourself, in that it is watery, the sound is mediocre and they pretty much take our high definition video and make it look like someone's VCR tape. This is somewhat compensated for in the settings, but even at original size the audio and video is lower quality.However, it does give you a full screen preview, some still shots and the ability to download the content directly off the Google server, at which time it reverts back to our higher quality original content format. A couple of the other advantages of Google is that it links back to our site, and a new feature that would allow another blogger to essentially cut and paste the individual video content to their blog. One other nice feature is that they give us plenty of room to preview the clip in writing so people can get an idea of what the interview or content is before they view or download. I'm sure Google will continue to refine this tool for further use and I expect it will be a big part of our continuing to build the channel. The advantages to Google is the huge Google audience, a very solid download and measurement device so I can tell exactly which clips have been downloaded and viewed, as well as a planned cross over to their other search engine capacities.
There is a lot to like about Blinkx.tv. First of all it is a true third party news and video collection service. It downloads clips from Fox, CNN, MSNBC, CBS and virtually every internet broadcast service. I found they did a far better job of pulling up all of our videos, where Google would show 3 or 4, while Blinkx.tv found them all. The other thing I really liked is unlike Google, Blinkx.tv takes our studio RSS feed and not only puts our videos up, but our weekly audio clips as well, making it both an audio and video search tool. Some other positive aspects is the ability to link your ipod right off the blinkx.tv site for content you like, as well as just directly download the shows or videos you want. They allow for good video resolution, but on many clips they have the maddening tendancy to be a bit slow on the audio so it looks like a dubbed spaghetti western from the 1960's. Hopefully they get that fixed. Soon.
Both tools have a lot to offer if you are searching for video and audio content, but for our channel it's a really superb tool to expand the reach of our content. We have had over 6000 downloads of the video content in just a few weeks since we posted it on LBN and The Settlement Channel, but in just the first week on Google and Blinkx.tv we picked up an substantial amount of additional traffic and we expect that to grow as more people become aware of the sites. Technology marches on and so do we.
Remember, if you or a sponsor wants to discuss starting a channel we would be happy to review that option and show you the numbers that make this such a compelling medium to reach an audience that traditional media can't possibly touch.