Google I/O, Google’s developer (cough, nerd) conference, comes to San Francisco next Tuesday for two days of peace, love, panels, and coding. Each year, the conference plays host to its so-called “Sandbox”, in which developers and startups demo their apps, code, and technical delights. This year, thanks to ShortForm, a video curation community, those startup demos can all be found in one place — on ShortForm’s Google I/O channel.
The San Francisco-based startup has built a cool video curation platform that allows users to create personalized channels of web video content, easily pulling clips from YouTube and other video sites. And you can play videos back-to-back to create a stream of video, not unlike the TV viewing experience. That’s right. I said it. Creating custom channels is simple, and ShortForm’s design and UI is more user-friendly (or at least more attractive) than that of YouTube. IMHO, of course.
So, applying this formula to Google I/O: If you’re unable to make the conference or, say, want to check back in on a favorite developer/app, you can kick back and get a full preview of all companies demoing at I/O in one channel. Ka-bam!
Between now and May 11th, users will also be able to vote on their favorite I/O companies. ShortForm’s Sandbox Contest doesn’t exactly have a world-shaking prize, but the startup will give “prime placement” to the winner, which, if nothing else, will provide some great exposure for developers, especially to those outside the conference’s doors.
To facilitate all this, ShortForm created a widget that you can embed on your site, blog, or if you want, to just print out and look at, though results may vary on that one. WordPress makes it difficult for us to embed iframes, so I’ll just point you to this link here if you want to check it out. You can vote for your favorite company there.
And, for the record, this isn’t ShortForm’s first lap around the contest track. It launched a video contest with CollegeHumor last month. Through its contest, ShortForm CEO Nader Ghaffari tells me, the team learned that curated continuous channels with voting and gaming mechanics have a beneficial affect for site owners, pushing “time spent on a channel” to 10 minutes per session.
Ah yes, so it seems the Web does indeed enjoy its video curation. Take note, YouTube. Ghaffari also said that the startup is looking to contest format and we are now working to productize these contests so that any ol’ ShortForm video jockey can turn their channel into a contest.