Niche video just got even more specialized with the addition of a “green” video-sharing network. emPivot, which has been in public beta since August, offers a combination of video hosting for green organizations as well as a green-tailored search engine to deliver environmentally relevant media. Founded by Chace Warmington and Thom Wallace of Washington D.C.-based Ecofusion Consulting, emPivot calls itself the first environmental video-sharing site and aims to “view green from every angle.”
Like all video startups, emPivot is working to garner users and viewers. Currently the “most viewed” video has 500 views and the vast majority of the content is pulled from other sites, such as YouTube and Reuters. It is emPivot’s aggregation that may prove to be its greatest strength. Using Blinkx and a “green filter,” emPivot’s search results pull up a variety of green media for each search. While the results are not yet perfect, with continued tweaking it could prove to be a powerful green media search engine.
emPivot has all of the essentials of video-sharing social network — profiles, friends, ratings, decent embeds, topical categories, and initiative-based channels. Looking to organize the “movement of movements,” users signing up are given the option to register as an individual, company, non-profit/NGO, academic institution, or government organization.
The site is looking to connect users beyond the cyberspace experience; it says they are “developing exciting new ways for local and regional communities to share media, tools for content producers and companies.” In an effort to live up to its tagline and truly provide views from all angles, emPivot has a surprising amount of content from global warming skeptics, for example. It’s clearly aiming present a diversity of viewpoints.
The Blinkx-powered search results pull video from all over and display them as animated thumbnails, quickly giving you a sense of what the video is actually about. The results are also very well-labeled, clearly tagging videos and telling users where they’re being pulled from. The nuts and bolts of the site, both emPivot’s own video-hosting side and aggregator search service, work pretty well, but they’ll have to fine-tune their services and optimize their systems as more users start uploading, rating, and tagging media.
Niche video sites like emPivot are all vying to take a slice of YouTube’s market share by connecting users through social networks and media that are centered around common interests. However, as destination sites, many of them lack the slick user-interface and glitch-free navigation needed to make them truly user-friendly. Still, emPivot is one of the best we’ve seen in terms of filtering for appropriate content. It’s now up to emPivot to pull in users and improve their network as content and metadata start coming in.
Cross-posted on NewTeeVee.