Re-inventing the video wheel not necessary

By Steve Outing

This week we added a video component to my company’s debut sports website, YourMTB.com. It’s a participatory site, where mountain biking enthusiasts can share their passion for their sport by sharing stories of their adventures, photos and video clips. Here’s the main video page, where our users are just beginning to share videos — like this one.

You’ll note that we don’t actually allow our users to upload video to our server. Rather, we tell them to use one of several very popular video-uploading services like Youtube.com and Google Video. They simply copy a bit of embed code that each of the services provide into a form on our website. The process is easy and quick.

If you have a business like ours where you want people to share video, you may want to borrow our logic. We looked at the online video scene and couldn’t see a justification for re-inventing the wheel by creating our own video-upload feature. Web 2.0 is not about walled gardens, so the idea of spreading “our” content around and bringing in relevant content from other services makes perfect sense.

The obvious potential downside is the long-term viability of the video hosts we point our users to. I’m not worried about Google Video, but for a smaller service like Vimeo, who knows what the future will bring? And, of course, if one of them has an outage, that affects us.

Author: Steve Outing Steve Outing is a Boulder, Colorado-based media futurist, digital-news innovator, consultant, journalist, and educator. ... Need assistance with media-company future strategy? Get in touch with Steve!