RootClip seeds video arena with creativity
Video is a tough sell for newspaper Web sites. It costs a lot to equip, train, produce and sustain a video effort that shows a healthy return on investment.
But what if that effort wasn't your typical talking head, or even a news-centric model? What if it allowed the users to help tell a story that would never be featured in your local newspaper?
That's the goal of Scripps' new-in-beta video effort called RootClip.
Now before you start shouting "What about YouTube?!" know that this is different. It's more chose-your-own-adventure than adolescent angst.
And I think it's one of the best concepts for video that I've seen yet.
Here's how RootClip works:
- The folks behind the site -- this includes my fellow Scripps project manager Erik Luchauer, inventory-analyst Kevin Antoine, and former-Studio 55 creator/video wunderkind Nick Hollensbe -- produce a one to two-minute "root" clip. This initial video seeds the story for which all other submissions grow.
- Users are then invited to submit a one-minute video to continue the original story. It can be as free-form as they desire, just so much as it takes its cue from the initial clip.
- When a video is submitted, users can then vote it up or down for 14 days. They can also post comments about each video.
- When the time period for submissions expires, the clip with the most votes is added to the original (complete) video. That user also wins $250.
- A new round of submissions begins, with the process continuing for 5 total rounds.
- Once the fifth round is complete a final round is conducted allowing only submissions from previous round winners. Voting is open to anyone.
- The highest-voted final clip earns its creator $2,500.
Rootclip was a project hatched from Scripps' Entrepreneurial Fund, which was set up to promote innovation within the company. This is the first video effort to come out of the group whose other sites include iMoms, Wag'N'Brag and RedBlue America.
Erik and Kevin thought up the idea a few months ago as part of the EF request for video ideas. I thought it was brilliant in its simplicity, and perfect for the would-be video superstars that don't want to get lost in the YouTube crowd.
There is one glaring omission however: Where's the business model? There is one, trust me. It will arrive with version 1.0.
The site is in beta currently to help the group test some assumptions in the process. But it's a live beta, and you can win money, in fact one user already has.
So if you don't work for Scripps or a Scripps property, help test this innovative concept by submitting a video for the next round. I vote for you if its good.