I’m no gamer but I love StumbleUpon Video – so tonight’s announcement that the crowdsourced video discovery tool is going to be available on the TV via a customized version made for the Nintendo Wii sounds like great news to me. If you’ve never seen StumbleUpon you should make sure to check it out; the company provides a browser toolbar that takes you to unexpected web pages that fit your interests as defined by your self categorization and subsequent thumbs up and down to pages served up. The combination of personalization and serendipity is addictive.
The video section of the site doesn’t require a browser toolbar to use. If you’re someone who questions the quality of video on YouTube, some time with the collectively vetted selections at StumbleUpon could help change your mind.
The company will host the Wii version of the site at Stumble.tv. More than 6 million Wii consoles have been sold since they went on sale last Fall. I’d love to embed a video of Conan O’Brien beating Serena Williams in Wii Tennis here, but it’s been taken off YouTube via a copyright claim. Thanks to all partied involved for stifling my creative aspirations.
Sending video from the web to the TV is something that no shortage of companies are doing or are seeking to do. I’ve thought for some time that establishing content deals with hardware makers was the way to do this – but the more ways we see it happen, the more convinced I am that total openness is is inevitable. StumbleUpon videos are primarily from YouTube and Google Video but industry momentum is such that it should just be a matter of time until everything is available almost everywhere.
StumbleUpon is celebrating its 5th anniversary tonight and is also releasing version 3.0 of its browser toolbar, which will integrate video along with standard web page stumbling.
The company was rumored to be up for sale in November, but the sale hasn’t materialized. They’ve raised a mere $1.5 million in financing and generate revenue by charging advertisers 5 cents per visitor sent to their page inserted occasionally into the path of stumblers.