August 08, 2007 |
MyVeZoom is a customizable extension of the VeZoom video search engine. VeZoom continuously monitors over 18 million hours of online video featured in over 60 online channels. From YouTube to the obscure, myVeZoom scours the Web for relevant UGC and professionally produced content. The straightforward UI and comprehensive nature of myVeZoom is promising. Drag-and-drop organization and other Web 2.0 tools make myVeZoom one of the cleanest video tool releases in some time. This early test of the main search utility and its aggregative extension reveals both the power and weaknesses of an innovative video service.
Pretty and Practical
Just when you think video is done – someone comes up with a simpler way to work with videos. MyVeZoom is "dead simple" and elegant in its design and function. Channels distributed in left sidebar range from news to regional video and "my favorites" caps of the familiar and easily navigable drop down lists. Drag-and-drop modules contain categorized and listed feeds to dozens of categories. I really like object oriented modules and these are customizable via drop-down edit. Adding channels via RSS URL is rather standard Web 2.0, but creating custom channels with keywords is very cool. You will note the Sarah Brightman channel module in the graphic below – automatically created by simply typing in the artist's name.
Additional work is needed on these modules – mouseover, all thumbnails, customization?
MyVeZoom returns relevant query results with what they claim is the world's most comprehensive video search engine. I must say that the quality and to a great degree the relevance of results I obtained in testing was excellent. However, I remain skeptical and objective as to the validity of this claim. A simple search for Shakira revealed 118,000 videos on almost 6000 pages. This result validates the comprehensive nature of their search to some extent, but it also reveals a problem that I will discuss later on. The image below displays the first page of this keyword search.
Note the number of results and pages displayed – too much of a good thing
Searching and accessing anything "video" with myVeZoom is fun and simple. Spatially organized, customized and movable modules make selecting and organizing user preferences a snap. The vastness of content obviously available either through RSS, built up favorites modules or search is a huge asset for this site and its users. I especially like the way everything on the landing page is right out in front of the user. The lack of frills and clutter further simplify selecting and viewing video feeds as well.
As I mentioned earlier myVezoom queries a vast number of videos. This combined with the multiple modules makes page loads and search painfully slow. I tried the service in IE, FF2 and on Flock and found the faster browsers only marginally helped load time. I could find no "filtering" control at the user level and whatever filtering criteria the engine uses simply has to be tweaked (no doubt returning 6000 pages of Shakira has something to do with this). The module editing is also too simplistic compared to services like Second Brain and Particls. Grabbing and reorganizing simple links will be commonplace by the end of the year and VeZoom should enhance all of their links to include; thumbnails, better descriptions and ultimately source indication to help users make better choices.
I like myVeZoom because of it's "in your face" simplicity. The designers have done a great job of making a strikingly simple and elegant tool. At the end of the day however, Web 3.0 will be about Web 2.0 technology being applied swiftly and effectively. VeZoom is not VeohTV by any stretch, and I am not sure the function of the service could not be "cloned" from within Dmitry's creation via minis and an already existent search function. That being said, myVeZoom can be a real contender in a sub-niche of online TV. By this I mean that some users want simplicity and the ability to quickly search for cool video. This type activity is generally carried out at Youtube, Veoh, Uvouch and many other sites. If myVeZoom can tweak their search to filter for quality and source better, with speed and relevance as the resultant advantage, then this service will rock for many people. In a nutshell, this service has to further differentiate itself.