Finally, after 3 years in draft mode, I decided to publish the following post. The recently drafted "Social Network Users' Bill of Rights" reminded me of my post written so long ago, except that it is obviously more well thought out than what I scratched out one morning. Of course, having a bunch of bright people using the latest in social media tools to draft their ideas is a big advantage in terms of coming up with a comprehensive approach to protecting user data.
Whether companies should be compelled to follow these rules because of government edict or market forces is subject to debate. It does seem like there might be an opportunity for services to differentiate and create a more "trusted environment" by adhering to these guidelines. The question is whether enough people, at this point, care about how their data is managed for it to make a difference? Or, like one commentator says, will the homogenization eventually suppress innovation and, as a result, cause services that follow these guidelines to be left behind?
So, here were the ideas I had come up with a couple of years ago. Although written with the video producer in mind and how an online video host could make its site more attractive, many of these points are applicable to all forms of social media.
- Ease of Use – doesn't require a bunch of different screens and manipulations to load and tag content.
- Reporting & Payment – timely, accurate and easy to use reports
- Trust that you will get accurate and fair payments
- Trust that the service will be reliable
- Trust that you will be able to retain your content in the event you want to move it or the service disappears
- Trust that the service won't sell the content without the producer's permission
- Wide distribution, ability to syndicate
- Integration onto producer's web site, myspace, etc.
- Choice of players (single, multiple videos…) and ability to brand player with the producer's logo and producer-determined linkage.
- Ability of producer to create their own channel.
- Upload once, but the content to gets transcoded for multiple outputs (cell phone, TV, PC, etc.)
- Share in advertiser revenue
- Be able to decide the type of advertising or, optionally, disable advertising. Be able to select the type of advertising (e.g. overlaid banner, pre, mid or post roll, etc.)
- Be able to charge on a Pay Per View or Subscription on Demand (variable time period).
[Note: In the 21 dog-years since I wrote the above, Viodi has tried numerous services for managing video. Of those, Blip.TV is probably doing the best job of meeting the above criteria.]