Most vloggers make an effort to create their own sites and feeds as opposed to relying exclusively on the features of video sharing services, according to Mefeedia. While a vlogger could certainly use YouTube or Blip.tv tools to get audience feedback and syndicate his or her show, a majority of Mefeedia’s vloggers are instead creating their own tools — presumably to have more control over how their content is presented and their audience can interact with it.
Mefeedia, a leading index of vlog feeds submitted by users, aggregated data collected internally to produce its first “State of the Vlogosphere” report. The independent video publishing community has exploded since the company started tracking it. Mefeedia found the size of its index grew to 20,913 vlogs indexed in January of 2007 from 617 vlogs in January of 2005.
When asked for his impression of the report, Pluggd‘s Drew Olanoff pointed to the wealth of resources that have emerged in the last two years.
“One key thing to point out is that the growth of episodic vlogs is mainly due to better tools being created,” he said. “Blip.tv is a perfect example. You can upload a file, make it cross post to your personal blog, your show’s blog, and anywhere else. That’s not something we could do in January of 2006.”
However, there is still plenty of debate over what constitutes a “vlog.” According to Mefeedia’s Frank Sinton, the study involved filtering the index to eliminate duplicate and mislabeled listings — certainly not an objective process. The numbers also do not reflect where the actual video content is hosted.
Another note is that the study’s “independent websites” category is inclusive of WordPress, Blogger, Feedburner, and other feeds. “Vloggers,” as opposed to “viral” content creators, are “setting up their web sites, setting up blogs, rolling their own RSS feeds” according to Sinton.
By only choosing from content submitted to Mefeedia, the study are excluding a large segment of the videoblogging community that might not promote its content through the company’s channel. Vloggers who run their own sites are probably far more likely to use tools like Mefeedia to promote their shows. “I’d bet a night of drinks that they under-calculated YouTube,” wagered Look Shiny‘s Nick Douglas.
Sinton explained Mefeedia was developing a business model based on providing analytics as an alternative to creating revenue by, for instance, selling ads against content indexed on Mefeedia. “We feel that our numbers are better than anyone else’s,” he said.
Sinton promised to modify the report based on questions and feedback from the community, including information on where the actual video content is being hosted, what formats people are using, and further clarifications of their methodology.