22 05 2008

So I have 2 channels on the site.  What the heck is  Glad you asked! is a very simple way to share your media (pictures, audio, media).


The Basics
You start out by creating an account – just the standard stuff like picking out a user name and password, entering an email address, etc.  Once you have your account you’re free to roam around and check out everyone else’s channels.  If a channel isn’t password protected you can produce content for that channel (don’t worry, I’ll explain that in a bit).  If the channel is protected, well, you’ll need the password.

Create a Channel
On your account home screen there’s a handy-dandy link labeled “Create a new channel.”  Next you need to pick out a name for your channel.  Provided the name you picked is available you’ll proceed to the channel display screen.  Here you can tweak how the channel name is displayed and you can upload an image to use as a logo for your channel.  Next screen,  you get a little more nitty-gritty.  This is where you can decide whether or not your channel is password-protected, if submissions will be moderated and if the chat will be open to anyone.  Did I fail to mention chat?  Your channel has a built-in chatroom.  How cool is that?  People can let you know what they think as they see your content and you, or anyone else, can respond to them.  So, incredibly cool.  I can’t express how in love I am with the built-in chat feature.

Producing a Show
If you load up the advanced production tool, you have a ton of options.  There’s a display of what will show on you channel and a set of widgets to the left.  The widget that you drag onto the display determines the type of content.  The three big ones are picture, slide show and video.  Once you drop off the widget you can upload the content to your channel.  There are additional widgets you can add in to provide a caption or even music (Kyte has a pretty decent library of music to add to your show).  Add a title and tags and you’re ready to hit “Broadcast” and share your show with the world.

This is where I think it gets really fun.  By clicking on the menu option on a show you’ll find the share option.  From here, what I think is most useful is the embed tool.  There are buttons for various blogs.  If you click on one and enter your user info Kyte will create a post for you that embeds your channel for you. Also cool is the ability to choose to embed current show or the newest content. That way, you can showcase specific content or just treat people to your latest show.

There are a ton of other features, like the ability to have your new shows announced on Twitter, for instance.  You can even email content directly to a channel, skipping over the login and uploading.

Now, is a beta, so there are still kinks to be worked out.  The main kink is navigation.  I think what’s missing for me is an account-level toolbar. Maybe with an embed button so that you could pull the embed code for your channel a little more easily?  What doesn’t work is very elusive – I know that something is off, but I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is.

There are inevitably the people who want to say “How are you going to compete with YouTube” the same way that people ask Jason Calacanis how he thinks Mahalo is going to compete with Google.  What I think is overlooked is that YouTube and Kyte can coexist.  Kyte allows for a more raw feed – you take the content from your machine and (minimally) produce it through the site and then broadcast it.  YouTube requires you to have a finished product that you upload.  I think that YouTube and Kyte can coexist and each fulfill a niche that the other doesn’t. 

For more info on Kyte, click here.
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Kyte.TV Update

17 03 2008

FYI – The reason that I can’t send a pic right from my phone to my Kyte Channel would appear to be Sprint’s issue, not Kyte’s.

When you send picture mail with Sprint you send a LINK to the image or video instead of the file itself – hence the no Kyte-ing.  The link sending thing makes sense – don’t bother actually loading/sending the pic until someone actually wants to look at it.

Never bugged me until right now.

Oh well.  Kyte, you are both cool and off the hook.