Truveo Finds Its Video Destination
Until today, AOL’s December 2005 acquisition of video search startup Truveo has been a white-label technology behind the video capabilities of many of the Web’s biggest sites. With its relaunch as a destination portal, Truveo became the top contender for best video search site in the world.
The development of Truveo since being bought by AOL mirrors a change I noticed in talking with Tim Tuttle, who co-founded the video search site.
In September 2006, he came across in our conversation with him as a brilliant mind, but less than completely comfortable talking with some writer when he could be making a breakthrough in his lab. The Tim Tuttle of 2007 sounds confident; the painful hesitations in last year’s chat a banished memory.
He has reason to be confident. In a brief tour of Truveo before today’s official re-opening, he got to the heart of the matter of video search. No one’s doing it really well, not even search titan Google, and he backed that up with a couple of comparison searches.
Two news items that have grabbed national attention, the saga of miners trapped in Utah and the announcement of Karl Rove’s resignation from the Bush Administration, yield much different results in Truveo and Google Video Search.
Truveo has current video results from high-quality sources for each. Google Video Search seems lost, with its first page of Rove results dominated by YouTube videos of one of the most powerful people in American politics rapping at a correspondents’ dinner.
Tuttle touched on the issue of respecting content owners’ rights with the Truveo relaunch. He clarified that by noting how Truveo will send a visitor to a content owner’s site to view a video, rather than presenting it in Truveo’s player, if the content owner prefers that.
Truveo allows visitors to browse videos by category, and to see them organized in ways like ‘Most Recent’ or ‘Most Viewed Today’. Some searches will show off Truveo’s ability to emphasize a relevant source, like Comedy Central for a Stephen Colbert query.
When a query’s videos appear in Featured Channels (this seems to be most common for entertainers), results for some of those channels appear below the main results. The same thing goes for Featured Categories; Colbert’s videos appear under Comedy, Entertainment, and Home Video.
We like what we see, but we have a recommendation for Tuttle. It would be nice to see alternative spelling suggestions for searches. I accidentally typed Colbert as ‘Clobert’, which brought back no results and advice to check my spelling. An automated suggestion for the correct spelling would be nice to see.