Is it finally easy to videoblog? Only recently has blogging come to mean more than just text and pix. A little over a year ago, podcasting hit the scene and has been developing at lightning speed, making it possible to produce and post your own personal radio shows on the Net. Many applications such as Apple’s Garage Band give you the potential to produce professional-quality programs... assuming you’ve got the talent. Not bad, but wannabe media tycoons want more. That’s why 2006 will be the year of the video blog. Videoblogging is being made easier and easier, especially by a young San Francisco startup called VideoEgg (www.videoegg.com). VideoEgg, founded by three young Yale grads, officially launched its flagship product in September 2005. The company quickly found its way to the Silicon Valley - to San Francisco more precisely - and to venture capitalists, who quickly sensed the software’s potential. VideoEgg is announcing that it has closed its second venture round with August Capital for an amount still under wraps. That’s quite an accomplishment for a few short months.
There's no question the company has reason to celebrate.
In October 2005, it struck a major partnership deal with SixApart, developers of TypePad, a solution well known to bloggers. SixApart, whose French subsidiary is headed by Loïc Le Meur, has contributed greatly to the appearance of quality blogs. Probably because its pay-based solution creates a hurtle that helps cut down on the clamoring “noise” in this booming domain.
A number of good quality blogs are starting to integrate video (not always with VideoEgg, incidentally). Loïc Le Meur’s blog (www.loiclemeur.com) features more and more video, as does the blog of Jean-Michel Billaut, founder of L’Atelier (billaut.typepad.com) and pioneer of the movement in France. The TypePad deal is thus significant, even though its actual terms are not yet known.
But VideoEgg owes its promising blogosphere future mainly to the fact that its product is truly simple. VideoEgg Publisher is a very light plug-in that lets you grab, edit and encode videos (or cuts) downloaded from your digital video camera... and then publish them on your blog. Child’s play for any novice blogger who knows how to copy and paste. Even better, videos posted with VideoEgg are viewable without any other software. No need to have the latest version of QuickTime or Windows Media Player: just click the video and it launches automatically. VideoEgg converts your video into Flash format.
The product is still available only as a test version and, for now, only to users of TypePad (typepad.videoegg.com). But VideoEgg is promising to go “big time” soon, with a version that will hopefully be available for download from its site. It remains to be seen how the company will license its tool and whether or not it will be free. If it is integrated with TypePad, which shares an investor with VideoEgg, the product sure to be economically viable for everyone involved. Then it’s just a matter of how developers of "free" products, like Google’s Blogger, are going to react. Apple is another player to watch as it tries to position itself with its iLife ’06 suite. The challengers are lining up for 2006.
Now all we can do is hope we get more than the full, unedited videos of people’s latest family vacation to some exotic seaside resort, as is too often the case on blogs. Of course, there should be something for every everyone, and the public can take its pick. After all, you can’t make an omelet without breaking Eggs...