Thursday, May 31, 2007

Web2.0 stupidity of the day: vod:pod

Let me introduce you to vod:podbeta.

Launched in December 2006, vod:pod is a typical silly Rails-based, buzzword-compliant, community-based, mashup website. Basic premise seems to be around users contributing videos they found on other video sharing sites to "pods", which are simply rich tags. There's also functionality to upload videos directly to the site, but there are various limitations on that.

Technically, the website is ok. Going against the grain of Web2.0 philosophies, it is visually busy. There are about a million different action items on each page, all demanding attention with bright colours and contrasting images. Being a Rails site the performance isn't great either.

It does have a few positive things going for it too. It uses AJAX fairly sensibly (that is, almost not at all). Popularity (?) graphs in pod headers are quite cute. Most importantly, cluttered and confusing UI makes it very hard to waste more than about 3 minutes on the site (unless you decide to bitch about it on a blog!).

They claim to be self-funded, and are hiring. Seeing as there are no ads on the site (not that they would generate much revenue, with their visitor numbers) someone is sinking a decent amount of cash into this. And, according to their FAQ, they plan to make money on advertisement and "premium services".

Admirable effort, but no biscuit.

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