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End-of-week roundup in Silicon Valley:
The YouTube jig, and lecture — Here’s a link to a lecture that Jawed Karim, the co-founder of video-sharing site YouTube gave this week. It is a history how YouTube got to where it did. GigaOm has a good summary.
The site’s founders suffered at first; they couldn’t get pretty girls to post videos, despite offering payment. But the site’s three co-founders hit the winning recipe in June 2005, Karim explains, when they added four features that instigated viral growth: 1) related video recommendations, 2) one-click emailing to spam a friend about a video, 3) more social networking and user interaction tools like video comments, and 4) an external video player.
Speaking of Karim, we’ve just recognized him in a quirky video we’d seen last year and never quite forgotten. Remember the popular Matt’s Dancing video? Well, while scrolling through its related videos last year, we found a link to the video above (click on the image) of a guy at Stanford doing a silly imitation of Matt’s dance. Turns out, it was Karim.
Meanwhile, YouTube gets a facelift — Pete Cashmore has the details here. He also has a good analysis of how to game YouTube. He submitted a mediocre video, and auto refreshed it all Sunday night, which pushed the video to the third “most viewed” page and tenth in the “comedy” category. We’re hearing more about such schemes, and it raises questions about the authenticity YouTube’s stated traffic numbers. Users are realizing that unless they click on their video a thousand times, it will never get to the top of the pile. Professional marketers are getting involved, and spamming the system. We’ll have more on this next week.
iLike launches its music taste-matching service — We mentioned its plans to do so, after it raised $2.5 million, and how awfully similar its brand seemed to Apple’s (iLike’s parent company is GarageBand, which is a site for independent movie artists; GarageBand is also the name of an Apple recording site)
Anyway, iLike is designed for iTunes and iPod users, and its service offers them a bunch of features, including 1) a list of the music your friends are listening to that you don’t have, 2) personalized recommendations of free MP3 downloads from almost 200,000 independent artists, and 3) a iLike “SideBar,” which gives you a buddy list for discovering music through friends.
iLike displays a rating to show how similar your tastes are to other users, and lets you connect to them. You can post an iLike widget to blogs and sites like MySpace, hi5, Piczo and Live Spaces.
It is backed by Khosla Ventures and former AOL Time Warner executive Bob Pittman.
Veeker launches away to post video to any site while on the go — The stealthy Veeker has finally launched, and its essentially instant video messaging from the road — with a way to embed your video in any website. Mobilecrunch has the story . Veeker uses something called Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS), which is the multimedia form of texting. Mobilecrunch summarizes:
The most basic use case is to shoot 60 seconds of video from your mobile phone and upload this video to Veeker in the form of an MMS. Within about 60 seconds your video is on the Veeker portal where, depending upon whether you sent it to one of three addresses is visible only by you (email@example.com) visible to you and your contacts (firstname.lastname@example.org) or made available for viewing by anyone who visits Veeker and is inclined to check you out (email@example.com).
You can embed a Veeker player at your site, which shows the videos you’re sending Veeker from the road. You can also pull into your player the videos send by your Veeker friends.
It appears to have an edge in simplicity. Unlike Shozu and Mywaves
it doesn’t require any downloads or registration. The question is whether the MMS format will catch on with users. Veeker execs cite statistics reported by Verizon and Cingular, which show second quarter usage of MMS growing 26 percent over the first quarter. Factor in Sprint and T-Mobile traffic, and the quarter saw a billion MMS messages
Veeker’s chief executive is Alex Kelly, former head of corporate development for Pinnacle Systems, which was sold to Avid Technologies for $462 Million.