Is WordPress.tv working?

When I was but a bairn, in the halcyon days of working at a Uni I remember there was a huge demand for screencasts and videos of how people could use the online learning management system. So we made tons of them – and those early Camtasia efforts were quote something, I can tell you.

Then when I set up Edublogs – there was another demand for videos aplenty – so we made lots of them too.

And, after that, we figured, why don’t we produce white label videos that people can embed / upload in their WPMU installs and brand as their own … and that’s been really popular.

What am I getting at – well, people LOVE videos, they WANT videos and you can SELL videos, but (and it’s a big but) PEOPLE HARDLY EVER USE OR CARE ABOUT VIDEOS WHEN THEY HAVE THEM!

It’s true!

How do I know it’s true though? Well, I can tell you, categorically, that the number of views and downloads of all of the above has been absolutely miniscule by comparison to other resources (like pdfs, for example). I know, I have all the stats, and they are terrible.

And also, from my own experience I have a confession to make – I hate screencasts :D There, I said it, I can hardly sit through 2 minutes of one without doing something else, browsing away or yawning copiously. They. Are. Shocking.

But am I gonna stop making them in abundance… hell no! People love them, or the idea of them at least, so as far as I’m concerned – the more videos the better.

BUT (and it’s a big but) is that a sensible use of the domain WordPress.tv – you know, I don’t think it is.

Why? Well:

  • First up, given that screencasts are pretty useless, I reckon they could much more happily sit at http://wordpress.org/videos/ – people would be happy that they were there and it’d free up the domain for something much more exciting
  • Second because I don’t exactly see a rush of people submitting their work to the site – it actually ruffled me a bit when Jane suggested that .tv was a way to give back… I don’t think that it is a good way, for a lot of reasons, but primarily because giving back needs to be a ‘virtuous circle’ (or some other such new age gumbo) whereby people get stuff out the other end (but that’s another post :)
  • Thirdly because I reckon that, unlike me, WordPress don’t have an obligation to make people happy – they (or Automattic I guess) are (as far as I know) all about doing the right and most useful thing… and besides, from a ‘mattic view I can’t see how it could benefit their business.
  • Fourthly because I think WordPress.tv has far, far more potential as a kind of showcase / stream of  videos put on WP blogs (as well as an alternative venue to upload and share video) – looking at streams of latest images, MMSs or videos is amazing and great, we recently completed such a feature for a Norwegian newspaper for their MMS stream and I think it’s bloody amazing.
  • And finally because I think this launch hasn’t gone well and it’s time to call it a misfire, I mean, check out the below (and wordpress.com / .org should be able to drive more traffic than god!):

wordpresstvstats

And (this might make some of chuckle a bit, but its in all seriousness) I hope some constructive criticism / ideas might be one way that I can give back!

What do you reckon? WordPress.tv – hit, miss or wayward child?

Comments (3)

  1. This post and the previous one aren’t showing on the main page. It’s kinda weird.

    Also! wp.tv has been using and uploading videos done by the community.
    Videos are hot, so people expect them.
    It *does* benefit them form a business model because at the very least it *looks* like they offer a ton of support.

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