I have been so busy with my work as CEO of Vquence since the end of last year that I’ve neglected blogging about Vquence. It’s on my list of things to improve on this year.
I get asked frequently what it is that we actually do at Vquence. So here’s an update.
Let me start by providing a bit of history. At the beginning of 2007 Vquence was totally focused on building a social video aggregation site. The site now lives at http://www.vqslices.com/ and is useful, but lacks some of the key features that we had envisaged to have a breakthrough.
As the year grew older and we tried to create a corporate business and an income with our video aggregation, search and publication technology, we discovered that we had something that is of much higher value than the video handling technology: we had quantitative usage information about videos on social video sites in our aggregated metadata. In addition, our “crawling” algorithms, are able to supply up-to-date quantitative data instantly.
In fact, I should not simply call our data acquisition technology a “crawler” because in the strict sense of the word, it’s not. Bill Burnham describes in his blog post about SkyGrid the difference between crawlers of traditional search engines and the newer “flow-based” approach that is based on RSS/ping servers. At Vquence we are embracing the new “flow-based” approach and are extending it by using REST APIs where available. A limitation of the flow-based approach is that just a very small part of the Web is accessible through RSS and REST APIs. We therefore complement flow-based search with our own new types of data-discovery algorithms (or “crawlers”) as we see fit. In particular: locating the long tail of videos stored on YouTube is a challenge that we have mastered.
But I digress…
So we have all this quantitative data about social videos, which we update frequently. With it, we can create graphs of the development of view counts, comment counts, video replies and such. See for example the below image for a graph that compares the aggregate view count of the videos that were published by the main political parties in Australia during last year’s federal election. The graph shows the development of the view count over the last 2.5 months before the election in 2007.
At first you will notice that Labor started far above everyone else. Unfortunately we didn’t start recording view counts that early, but we assume it is due to the Kevin07 website that was launched on 7th August. In the graph, you will notice a first increase on the coalition’s view count on the 2nd September – that’s when Howard published the video for the APEC meeting 2-9 Sept 2007. Then there’s another bend on the 14th September, when Google launched it’s federal election site and we saw first videos of the Nationals going up on YouTube. The dip in the curve of the Nationals a little after that is due to a software bug. Then on the 14th October the Federal Election was actually announced and you can see the massive increase in view count from there on for all parties, ending with a huge advantage of Labor over everybody else. Interestingly enough, this also mirrors the actual outcome of the election.
So, this is the kind of information that we are now collecting at Vquence and focusing our business around.
On that background, check out a recent blog post by Judah Phillips on “Thinking about Measuring Internet Video?”. It is actually a wonderful description of the kind of things we are either offering or working on.
Using his vocabulary: we can currently provide a mix of Instream and Outstream KPI to the video advertising market. Our larger aim is to provide outstream audience metrics that are exceptional and we know how to get them regardless of where the video goes on the Internet. Our technology plan centers around a mix of a panel-based approach (through a browser plugin) and a census-based approach (through a social network plugin for facebook et al, also using OpenID), and video duplicate identification.
This information isn’t yet published at our corporate website, which still mostly focuses on our capabilities in video aggregation, search, and publication. But we have a replacement in the making. Watch this space… 🙂