March 25th, 2010 by

True story.  Just this morning I was shopping for a flight, and what was the first thing I did?  No, I did not call Linda, my travel agent; rather, I went to kayak.com.  Why?  Because Kayak is an aggregate site – it reaches its spindly tentacles out into the subterranean depths of the Internet and pulls from various travel sites to find me the best deal.  This is nice.  If the squiddish and/or arachnid-like analogies frighten you, consider this: the Internet is like one long corridor with endless doors on each side – what’s behind this door?  Or that door?  It’s enough to drive you nuts.  So this is why aggregate sites are nice.

Aggregate sites that burrow for content are especially nice too, because while flights are finite, content seems pretty darn infinite.  And one of those nifty burrowers is Yubby.com, a site that finds, collects, and publishes videos from over 30 of the most popular sites.  How do they do that?

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As a first-user checking out Yubby, my task was made clear:

1.  Find video from over 30 popular video sites
2.  Gather the videos in my own channels
3.  Share my channels and publish them on my favorite websites

So I began by entering a search term in the box.  For some reason I entered “Credence Clearwater Revival.”  I think it’s because there was some guy drivng a truck cranking CCR and the whole scene was awesome, so it stuck with me.  A bunch of videos popped up in a table format: three columns and seven rows.  (I could also have them formatted like a YouTube-like list.)  I clicked on one.  A smaller screen popped up and conveniently provided a description of the video itself.  Luckily for me it was their video of “Looking Out My Back Door.”  Epic!

What happened next was pretty neat.  Back at the search results page, I could drag and drop the thumbnails of the videos into a separate column on the right of the screen – my new, un-titled channel.  So I did, and there it was.  Next I entered another search term (“Jerry Brown”), and dragged a video over too.  CCR and Governor Moonbeam: together at last.  Yubby passed this test with flying colors – my channel on the right remained frozen still housing the CCR video.

After I assembled my channel I wasn’t intuitively sure what my next step should be.  On the upper-right hand corner was a box entitled “Videokanaal”  (they may wish to re-title that), with “Play Channel,” “Video Overview,” and “Embed Widget.”  I clicked on “Play Channel,” (below) and my videos popped up.  “Video Overview” provided a list of my two videos, and “Embed Widget” gave me the HTML code to paste onto my (non-existent) webpage.

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Not surprisingly, Yubby can also be used for businesses as well as individual fun.

So, having gone through the guts of the site, I had a few comments/suggestions:

  • On the home page, I was a bit perplexed, initially, by the “Check out what others made” at the bottom.  It was supplemented by video screen shots on the bottom; once clicked upon, I was taken to the video itself, and it seemed just like a normal video.  I’d encourage Yubby to re-examine the copy (“Check out what others made”) to make it a bit more descriptive and concrete.
  • Additionally, while experimenting as a user, I was expecting at some point to be able to save my channel (though I may have missed this.)  Perhaps that option, and the prompt to sign-up and be a full-time user, should be more upfront and obvious.

Ultimately, Yubby employs two neat things currently lacking from other video sites like YouTube: 1) again, it’s an aggregator; there’s simply more depth and breadth, and 2) it employs drag-and-drop functionality making it fun and intuitive to use.  Tons of fantastic possibilities for both individual users and businesses alike.  And don’t just take my word for it; check out what the folks at Blog World had to say.  (Note: SlapStart restricts me from providing similar video commentary as it may dilute the “SlapStart Mystique Clause” as stipulated in my contract.)

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