Odeo’s dirty little secret

Odeo is a great service, and they’re improving all the time, but they have a dirty little secret.

They have not solved the findability problem of podcasts. Not even close.

It is very hard to find podcasts you like on Odeo. Peter Merholz noticed this, Donna noticed it too. Information architects!

Findability for audio and video is a HUGE issue. I’d say it’s the number one problem waiting to be solved. It’s just too damn hard to find good videoblogs and podcasts.

Even in Mefeedia, videoblogs are still too hard to find. The problem with video is that it is a black hole for attention. You can’t do much else while watching video (although I’ve found you can actually take your attention away from the screen easily now and then and just listen).

It is very hard to decide whether a video is worth watching, worth spending all that attention on. On Mefeedia, I invest a lot in creating thumbnails, which serve the purpose of making the watch decision easier, of making videos more scannable.

And there are many other tricks coming up in the upcoming release this week. One of them is a BlogThis feature. You can blog a video from within Mefeedia, you can include thumbnails in your post (drag and drop!), it prefills the type (Quicktime), size and length of the movie and links to the original blog and such. The purpose of this is to encourage revlogging.

Revlogging is vlogging (videoblogging) about videos of other videobloggers. Videobloggers don’t link enough to each other, and this is one tool that I hope will increase how much videobloggers talk about each other on their own blogs. All to increase findability – links from blogs to other videoblogs are one of the biggest findability tools out there.

So there you go: findability is the biggest problem for videoblogging right now. Who’da thunk it? A year ago, I thought bandwidth, hosting or creation tools would be our challenges. But now that the amount of videoblogs is exploding, and for the foreseeable future, it’s findability. Which gives me a nice chunky challenge for next year with Mefeedia.

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