vod:pod is the newest video sharing and aggregator site on the block, and it has a few twists. Three of them:
First, the primary focus is a video collection (a pod) rather than a single one. Collecting can be done by individuals or together. So, for example, here are 4 people collecting indie music. You can scrub over the videos for a rank and rating preview before watching, and the sparkline at the top right gives you an idea of the popularity of the pod.
Second, VodPod lets you upload videos but doesn’t ask for an exclusive relationship. It reaches out into the Web–you can include videos from YouTube, Google Video, and so on in your pod, and keep all of them collected alongside your own ones. These highlighted pods all mix-and-match from different service.
Last is something Mark Hall just told me about: Each video has a low-threshold response widget next to it, so you can say quickly that you loved, just watched, or laughed at what you saw. If you add your Twitter details in your vod:pod profile, that response will also be announced to your Twitter buddies. Simple, social and (importantly) deliberate every time.
There’s a lot more to come – really big features – but I’ll leave it there.
vod:pod is the first service I’ve watched all the way from early concept through to launch. S&W did some very early product ideation and experience work – on how people find videos to watch online, as Mark discusses – and I’ve been following progress since. While the shape of the solution has changed considerably, the core values have been maintained: Organising, socialising, and being part of the Web.
I find that promising, and so vod:pod‘s what we use to host videos for this blog.