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Drect: Why Hollow vs Lux may never happen (Rap Grid blog)


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Old 09-11-2013, 05:07 PM   #41
hawaiiand
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Guys, I respect every word of feedback, in this thread and every RG related comment in any past thread. Even the negative responses to the pricing or selling content on the site. Thanks very very much for all of it..

Please respect that I need to be a little vague on these types of posts. If something doesnt seem fleshed out, while that may be true, it may also be due to needing to keep some privacy around these thoughts and/or plans.

Also know that I understand that battle rap today is not ready to make some large shift. I say long-term plan because its a gradual change over time, not a switch you can flip. I know this, whether I explicitly say so or not.

Feel free to PM me anytime.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JOBone View Post
A few years ago when Grind Time was blowing up and there was more battles than I could track, I wanted some way to sort the great battles from the mediocre ones.
Same here, which is exactly why I started with the first prototype of rapgrid and emailed the three big leagues at the time who were still using wordpress blogs for their site, and begged for them to start to build an object model for their content, so they could start applying attributes around the content and start to house and use that metadata to do those things.

Only quoted that one sentence but will touch on a couple things you mentioned.

I think you're seeing things the same as I am. When you own design the object model and own the interface people use to interact with that model, you can tune and enhance the interface to take advantage of those things, which rapgrid is doing today. Another huge big reason I started the project was that same example of quality of battles. At the time, GTN (was still on the rise when I started) was posting all their battles to the same YT channel. If they had an object model in place, they could still be doing that however for "Silver" battles, apply that flag on the object model, and all of a sudden videos that roll up to the same YT channel are easily filtered on your own site. I touched on other example of leveraging that metadata in previous posts.

RE: Karma/Points and user community leaderboards - We're actually doing that today on the backend and not using the points system yet in the UI. When users are logged into the site and submit a vote on a battle, your user account is awarded a point (and a message displayed on screen). Basically, in short, I hear you. I'm also considering an enhancement to award points for a FB like or comment, but honestly I'm 50/50 on it because I dont want to see spam comments, so we'll see. Since we aren't using the points system for anything in the UI today, thats less of a concern, but in the future if there were a leaderboard I would want to balance awarding points with a control for spam.

But its there. Thats one example of offering user interaction that YouTube cannot. There are more ways for users to interact coming through the dev pipeline, and I hope you'll respect that I wont talk about them until they are live on the site.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:31 PM   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FILTH View Post
its not youtubes inability to smartly use the metadata. its yours. you can put all kind of keywords and hashtags in your title tags and description you can do it in a way that it shows up as related/suggested videos to all of theri other battles..etc.. .. i can put a cat video up and enter metadata that will match any breaking news headline at the moment and have my video show up on googlenews page under that specific headline. you mentioned in another post about the analytics.. once again, thats your inability to effectively navigate and record information...iirc in another post you mentioned something about targeting ads or something.. in adsense you can target specific ads to your audience. you can be in total control of all ads if you know what youre doing..
Respect.
There is metadata that a webcrawler users, there is metadata that YT interface uses, but also metadata as far as an object model. YT knows of a video. You can certainly apply metadata tags to that video.

But Im talking about object model. A battle is not just a video. A battle contains 2+ rappers, an event it took place at, (sometimes) a winner as determined at a live event, has N number of hosts, N number of judges, can come before or after another battle at the event. It can contain a post release poll, has a live event date, a release date, and preceding trailers.

Yes, those things could be captured in metadata html tags, but it is better to be built into an object model and captured and stored on every release.

When you own the object model, you're able to build an interface that uses all those things and more.

And when you own the analytics, you can determine the best use for that data in your own interface. When battle is released, what user behavior can we mine from the data? Did they view a different battle from either rapper? From the event? Using that data, can we tune the interface to accommodate that behavior, in order to gain another residual view from our own catalog of content? Did they make a purchase on your store? What kind of products are purchased as referal links from a battle? Can we use that data to increase our ecomm sales?

In adsense you can target using an existing ad that is in the adsense catalog. If you are not constrained by adsense and instead controlling your own ad-server, I contend there are greater profit margins to be had.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FILTH View Post
.. youtube is the third most popular website on PLANET EARTH. there is NO WAY you will give more exposure than youtube can. if someone enters their metadata correctly they can have their videos show up as related/suggested videos to ANYTHING on youtube..
you forget huge channels like cnn abc have their own websites but still keep MAJORITY of their video content on youtube because they know it has potential to reach MILLIONS of more people than abc.com or cnn,com.
you must've figured out something cnn and abc havent..
Agreed. We cannot compete for 'exposure' with YT. I touched on it earlier, but I think moving to a solution like I'm talking about in the long term, its less about gaining new fans via 'exposure' and more about increasing profit margins with the already sizeable following you have. I do not believe that new fans of battle rap are finding it by related videos on YT. I think, more likely given the niche that battle rap is, it is word of mouth and social networking shares.

But don't you exactly make my point? Anyone can post a video to YT and make it to relate to anything. I believe leagues should want more control over what relates to them, not less. You may disagree, and that is ok. And again, the short term today is to continue using YT as a host, but start to build your own interface.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FILTH View Post
honest question.. does anyone at rapgrid really think one million views means that one million people watched a video. and 1% of that is really 10,000 people...
I don't.

Does anyone really think that rapgrid is the sole beneficiary if it did? We are a platform for leagues to use. We incur costs for every transaction. Outside of a flat percent for covering that costs, we wont be retiring even if it did sell 10x that %1.

Let me add one thing here that I hope everyone at least sympathizes with. Selling battle videos is not the end game here. Selling battles is not THE way to make battle rap more profitable. But it is a bridge we'll use on the way. It is one way as these leagues mature, to help sustain league revenue while it continues to grow. Im sorry that everyone's impression seems to be that we want to sell battles. True, we do want to sell battles, as an interim measure for helping grow what leagues are capable of achieving, but that is far from the end game. Im especially sorry that peoples impressions of Drect have been affected.
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Old 09-11-2013, 05:45 PM   #43
JOBone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hawaiiand View Post

RE: Karma/Points and user community leaderboards - We're actually doing that today on the backend and not using the points system yet in the UI. When users are logged into the site and submit a vote on a battle, your user account is awarded a point (and a message displayed on screen). Basically, in short, I hear you. I'm also considering an enhancement to award points for a FB like or comment, but honestly I'm 50/50 on it because I dont want to see spam comments, so we'll see. Since we aren't using the points system for anything in the UI today, thats less of a concern, but in the future if there were a leaderboard I would want to balance awarding points with a control for spam.

But its there. Thats one example of offering user interaction that YouTube cannot. There are more ways for users to interact coming through the dev pipeline, and I hope you'll respect that I wont talk about them until they are live on the site.
I got you. I'm definitely interested in the direction you guys are trying to move in. It should be cool to see how it turns out.
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Old 09-12-2013, 03:28 AM   #44
rocky
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Originally Posted by JOBone View Post
Interesting point you bring up that made me think of a few ideas.

It's true that battlers and leagues lean heavily on view these days and the way I see it, it's basically due to it being on of the more reliable metrics or popularity on YouTube of a battle, and, to some degree, their talent since people assume the more popular you are, the better you are. I've had debates with people in the past about the idea and the conclusion I've came to is that people use views because it's the easiest to point to and tells you more info than just a battler's resume or leagues they've battled in or if they've had the best battle at an event or if they are getting positive buzz and reception amongst the fans. For the battlers, what better way do they have to demonstrate their demand and what they bring to the table for promoters to negotiate their pay? Also for promoters/leagues, it has to play a part in who they book for events or who the stars in their roster are or who has a buzz they can push. It's difficult to think of a scenario where people would have a reason to not care about views at all.

I say that to say this, @hawaiiand, I think that something you can offer these leagues besides a platform is potentially a new way to aggregate content. By that what I mean is, Rapgrid and Versetracker have done a great job of giving users ways to easily search for battlers other battles or battles from a league, etc. but while that is something YouTube doesn't offer, it is something someone can still do on YouTube, it just takes an extra step or two. It's more convenient to go to Versetracker or Rapgrid to search for all the battles from one battler, especially as a fan not familiar with battle rap, but myself as a long term fan, that is the specific search I'm doing, I'm not browsing through those sites for battles because I'm already on YouTube and I know what leagues to look for whose battle and I know off the top of my head what event it was at what year it happened it and all that. There is not a whole lot of reason for me to make those sites my normal battle routine, just for the extra stuff they might offer. Now if RapGrid was to devise a way to suggest new battles that I might like based on people with similar interests in battles or other battles people searched for after watching a battle I'm watching or based on me saying I "liked" a video or giving it some sort of high rating, it could suggest to another person if you enjoyed this video people who rated this high also liked these videos.

A few years ago when Grind Time was blowing up and there was more battles than I could track, I wanted some way to sort the great battles from the mediocre ones. While I do search for unknown battles less on my own these days and watch less battles in general as well as mainly stick to the leagues and battlers I already know I like, I think for people willing to look for new battles, having a new, effective way to find other battles you like could be a huge draw for fans and it could be a way to break down the paradigm of battlers being only able to be known by battling people with names or fans only finding out about new battlers and leagues through their favorite battler(s), which might have been the way they were introduced to battling.

Oh, the reason Rocky's comment triggered this thinking for me is that, besides suggestions for videos you might enjoy, maybe there can be a new algorithm developed to determine popularity of good battles, not just highly viewed battles. Maybe it could be based on trends of how quickly it gets views and how pleased people are with the video based on favorites, ratings, what videos are popular in your region or country, how much people thought it was close (or a classic), or one battler having an outstanding/bodybag performance. There could also be popularity based on how controversial it was (based on judges decision people don't agree with or events in the battle, ie. chokes or antics). These are the sorts of things relevant to the fans' interest. How dope would it be to see which battles become consensus "classics" due to how competitive they are by collecting the data of a bunch of fans? I don't know a good way to collect that data that people would all agree upon but I'd definitely use that as a way to find new battles.

Now that's all well and good but how do you get the ball rolling to get fans to actually create an account and become involved? How about people earn karma or points for battles they judge or rate? Profiles get ranked for how much they contribute or how popular their tastes are. Like you can follow a person's profile view a feed of battles they commented on or liked, or maybe you can just subscribe to their favorite battles playlist then the people with the most popular playlists are ranked or featured. That way people that are watching more battles and participating have not only a chance to help many battlers, leagues, and fans find out about battles they might not have watched, but they also have a chance to be influential and recognized for their taste in quality content. Then you have even more ways people can discover new battles.

Just some examples. I know you guys don't have all the features I'm mentioning but I'm just trying to paint a picture of what could be possible. My main point is that there is lots of opportunity for catering to battle fans in ways that haven't been done, which can help everyone in the process.
good lord job

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