Rocketboom’s Andrew Baron Launches MagmaMay 12th, 2009 | By Elisabeth Lewin | Category: The New Media Update, Video
Andrew Baron, creator of groundbreaking video podcast Rocketboom unveiled his latest project, Magma, on Monday night at the NY Video 2.0 meeting. Magma is a video site – and a “trending topics” site – and a social community site, all in one place.
Baron explains that Magma is “is an entry point for online video”. The site “aggregates & tracks online videos from the top video hubs & tastemakers, measuring every number along the way. We cross-reference video statistics with social engagement data â€“ blogs, twitter, & other social media chatter â€“ and paint a real-time picture of a video’s spread across the web.”
Magma First Look
Magma basically tracks top videos across the internet, from a range of video and social platforms. The site lets you organize your videos in one place, and is a cool tool for checking online video popularity on a single site, or tracking top content in the aggregate of many sites.
Magma lists and tallies the current most-watched content on major video sites (YouTube, Vimeo, Hulu, iTunes). It also tallies video “chatter” on blogging and social networking sites like Facebook, Google Blogs and Twitter, and tracks buzz on social bookmarking sites like StumbleUpon, Reddit, delicious, FriendFeed, Digg, and BuzzFeed, as well as factoring in mentions in more “traditional” media like television, radio, newspaper, and magazine websites.
Also, any individual can add any videos or RSS feeds into Magma so that Magma will track those videos across the Internet as well.
All the buzz and views and chatter get tallied up and scored, and the hot “videos to watch right now” get displayed at the top of the home page.
There is also a whole community aspect of Magma with individual user profiles, and “the ability to collect videos, become a tastemaker/curator by building a community of people who like to watch the videos you aggregate.”Â Says Baron: “This is where things can get really interesting in terms of filtering and finding less popular videos that are more suitable to your personal interests.”
My quick assessment of Magma?
For viewers, the operative word here is top. Magma collects and tracks the top videos of the moment, at the top video portals and top social platforms. It takes a little poking around for an individual viewer to discover more obscure video gems that may be more worthwhile to her than what the aggregate (read: average) viewer liked. This may become easier if the site catches on, with more widespread use of the social/community features of the site.
For content creators, Magma could be a useful tool for tracking the popularity of their work on different sites, and for demonstrating that buzz to others. [See a sample statistics page for an individual video here.] Baron sees Magma as a platform-agnostic way for Internet video publishers “to direct their audience to show-off the most impressive viewpoint of surrounding buzz. (e.g. instead of sending their audience to a link on YouTube…)”
For prospective advertisers or sponsors of online video, (and for video producers, too), the statistical information generated by Magma is of great use and value. To be able to see data across a wide variety of sites, or from individual ones, will make better analysis possible, and facilitate smarter business decisions. Explains Baron, “most of our data is available through APIs so other statistical businesses, platforms and developers in general can use Magmaâ€™s data set to enhance their own projects.”
I would also like to have the ability to use Magma to track and aggregate viewer activity from an even wider range of video and social platforms.
The social aspect of Magma is appealing. Being able to share and collect recommendations from other Magma users is also a nice feature — but for people who already are reaching social overload, will they commit to cultivating a profile, and collecting friends’ information, on yet another site?
Magma is a site I will be keeping my eye on, because it has a combination of useful features that aren’t available in any other single location. I am imagining a number of ways Magma can foster and promote the growth of online video by providing a rich experience for video creators, consumers, and promoters/advertisers. I am hopeful that the couple of bumps I see in the site’s usability and focus can be easily ironed out.