TimeTube: The Timeline That YouTube Should Build

TimeTube is a new mashup from Dipity, the interactive timeline site, that takes the mostly unsorted mess of videos that is YouTube and arranges them by date, offering a useful (and often unexpected) perspective on recent events.

Links to each video are situated across a horizontal timeline, with emphasis placed on the most popular videos (they appear bigger). Users can expand or contract the timeline to isolate a particular time period, and the viewing window features a handy “next event” button.

The site is a great diversion. The featured searches, ranging from Global Warming to David Hasselhoff, are all impressive, but half the fun comes from finding your own gems using the keyword search (recent scandals work best). I’m particularly fond of Eliot Spitzer’s TimeTube, which provides a nice contrast between his cheery political ads and the infamous Client Number 9 debacle.

TimeTube seems like it could be a handy reference for getting quick overviews on current events, but at this point it won’t be much more than a novelty for most people. Videos are placed according to when they were uploaded, which isn’t always indicative of when the events shown were actually taking place, making the validity of the timeline shaky at best. That said, if the site can figure out a way to keep dates consistent, TimeTube could evolve into a powerful tool.