Sunday, April 22, 2007

Recent videos on user-owned video channels

There has been a discussion on YouTube about the concept of allowing users to own their own channel, which would let you sell things and advertise on it. The discussion also mentions the eNation concept, which is very interesting! Watch and listen to these videos to learn more about this group's vision for the future. We have already implemented some of these ideas on the 2BuxMall website, and more of it will be rolling out in the coming weeks!

Time To Start Talking About The BIG IDEA

If you can't see the video above, watch it on YouTube.

Announcing VoicingWorld - The Group Channel

If you can't see the video above, watch it on YouTube.


If you can't see the video above, watch it on YouTube.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Thoughts on the 2BuxMall

I recently wrote a post at the new cool place to talk about videos - the TubeRavers Forum. I gave some thoughts about the 2Bux system and I will now paste a copy of it, here.

This is a project in the works since late last year when I mentioned it on that other YT forum. During the planning stages, it has become more than just a central place for YouTubers to let other Toobers know that they had things for sale, or a PayPal donation button, or their own web page. Now it is a web application that borrows concepts from YouTube, eBay, Second Life and online games like EverQuest and WoW. There's even a MLM aspect...

Basically, the core of it is the concept of a Store, which looks similar to a YouTube profile page or a myspace page. Users can set up and customize their Store to let others know what they are doing and selling. You can have a video on your Store - your own commercial or announcement. There will be a central 2BuxMall page with a searchable directory so you can see who is there. There will also eventually be Featured Stores, like YT's featured videos.

Some people on YT don't have anything to sell, but they do make videos. There is a mechanism where Users can sell viewing rights to exclusive videos in an auction-like manner. This allows videomakers to maximize their income per video while minimizing the cost for the Bidders.

There needs to be a way to pay for things sold through this system. Some or maybe most things will be sold through CafePress or CDbaby or eBay or PayPal (donations) or through personal websites. But commerce inside the system, like paying for won Bids in the video auction section, digital downloads (Musicians can sell their music tracks), and internal donations need a micropayment system. There will be one in 2Bux. You'll be able to fund your account via PayPal and we'll eat any PayPal fees. For example, charge $20 to your PayPal, the whole $20 goes into your 2Bux account. Use the money in your account any way you want, there are no transaction fees. There is, however, an exit fee. Take less than $100 out of your 2Bux account and you'll be charged a 20% exit fee. Take out $100 or more and its 10%. Most of these fees will be used to fund the cash bonuses and commissions that Users can earn. This particular set-up means that people can use the system for free and if they use all of their money inside the system, they will never pay a fee. The only time someone pays a fee is if they are successful and have made some money in the system and they want to take it out!

Users will be able to move up in Level as they use the system. Each Level has certain requirements and offers certain privileges. To enhance the community aspect, there will be an invite system. Everyone who becomes a User will have to be invited by someone else. Higher Level Users will be able to earn a percentage of exit fees from those they invite. Even higher Levels will earn a percentage of the fees from those they invite and those who those people invite. The highest Levels may even be presented with actual shares of stock of the company that runs this. Unlike YouTube where only a few people benefited when Google came knocking, if this catches on and gets bought out, I think it is important for those who have been active in the system to benefit financially.

This is going to be rolled out in a controlled way. YouTube showed us that things sometimes break down when they grow too quickly. Right now, the Stores are about ready to go, along with parts of the video auction system and parts of the internal micropayment system. The Levels have preliminarily been laid out - right now there are just 10 Levels with reasonable requirements per Level. The Level concept is the least developed at the moment and may change over time.

The Login page will be here:
The Mall page will be here:

We have a set of Beta testers that have shown interest in the project in the past and no further testers are needed at this time. Anyone interested in the future will need to receive an invite from me or one of the testers who will become the first Users.

I'm sure people will have their opinions as to whether this is a worthwhile project or not, and whether it will be successful or not. I really don't know the answers to these questions. The project will answer the questions itself as time goes by. Thanks to anyone who has read all of this! I'll be happy to answer questions if there are any. I may be vague in my answers either because we haven't decided everything on certain parts of the system, or due to a need to keep certain details from becoming public knowledge...

Periurban and Renetto

Periurban and Renetto, two popular YouTube videomakers, have recently made videos about a meeting they had in which a new video sharing concept was discussed. This new concept may seek to fix some of the problems that the YouTube users community has been experiencing, such as communication problems via video comments and YouTube messages, and abuse of some of the Terms of Service by many members. This new concept may also lead to individual ownership of their own channels and a democratic system of governing the operations.

From what I am able to see, this new concept seems to be a very good idea! It is worth trying, and I am very interested to see if this concept is implemented and to see what they put in place to deal with some of these issues.

Our 2BuxMall system addresses some of these same issues. We hope to roll out the system in a slow and orderly manner, addressing issues as they develop. 2BuxMall Store owners are selected by invitation only, so we can match the volume of business with our ability to provide the community with good service.

Individual owners will have a good deal of control over their own Stores. They can customize its appearance and decide what to promote or sell. We intend to provide a micropayment system to make it easy to pay for purchases made through our system.

I don't think our system could be classified as being run in a democratic way. It will be the case that everyone who becomes a user will have been invited by someone who already is a user. We feel that responsible community members will recommend other responsible people for invitation. There will also be a Level system which may help people to feel a certain amount of trust in users who have moved up in Level, which would indicate that they are active and positive members of our community.

I think that any discussion of the way in which positive people can group together in a community that can be helpful to themselves and others, is a good discussion to have! Here are the videos from Periurban and Renetto on this subject. We hope to participate in this creation of a better experience for the videomaking community.

An Open Letter To Renetto (Periurban)

If you can't see the video above, watch it on YouTube.

The Future of YouTube... is it really up to us? (Renetto)

If you can't see the video above, watch it on YouTube.

2BuxMall opens for testing

Today, April 18th, 2007, the 2BuxMall opened for testing. A group of testers were emailed invitations to set up test Stores, test the commenting system and test the money exchange system. A few users have created accounts and a few bugs have been identified and fixed already. Thanks to all who have been interested in this project.

Here is the 2Bux Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) as they stand today.

What is 2Bux?
2Bux is an online application that helps videomakers make money from their favorite activity - making videos! Users of the 2Bux website can set up Stores that show items they have for sale. They can also use the 2BuxAuction system to sell viewing rights to their videos. Users can progress in the User Level system by meeting certain requirements. Each Level brings new privileges! Transactions in the 2Bux system are paid with 2Bux Money. 2Bux Money can be Added and Withdrawn with a user's PayPal account. Anyone can visit the 2BuxMall but only 2Bux Users can create a Store and use the other parts of the system. New Users can join the system by Invitation only.

What is the 2BuxMall?
The 2BuxMall is one central place for videomakers to tell the community about things they may have for sale. Videomakers create and customize their own Stores. Each store has an "About" area, a place for Links to other websites and a list of Pictures of items for sale. Optionally, a Store may have a PayPal Donate button. It may also have a video which further explains the Store and the items for sale. In the future, we plan to offer Digital Downloads from 2Bux Mall Stores. This will allow users to sell music and e-books from their Stores. 2Bux Mall Stores can be visited by anyone on the internet.

What are 2BuxAuctions?
2Bux Video Auctions allow videomakers to sell viewing rights to exclusive videos that they create. This is done using an auction-like system. The videomaker Lists their video on our site, and chooses the Minimum Price that they want to sell the video. This Price is known only to the videomaker. Bidders place anonymous Bids ($2 or more) on the Listings. The Bids are the Maximum that a Bidder will pay to see the video - their Bid is this amount, and all lesser amounts. For example, a $5 Bid is also a $4, $3, and $2 Bid. Listings last one week. During that time, if the number of Bids at any amount times the number of Bids at that amount exceed the videomaker's Price, funds are transferred and the video is unlocked for viewing by the winning Bidders. Winning Bidders can watch the video here on 2Bux for 30 days after the Listing has been completed. The videomaker agrees not to post the video anywhere for one year. After one year, they can do what they want with the video, including Listing it again on 2Bux. Listers and Bidders must have a 2Bux account to List and Bid on videos. Accounts are available by invitation only, from current 2Bux users.

What are 2Bux User Levels?
Users of the 2Bux Mall and 2Bux Video Auctions are able to move up in Level. Certain requirements have to be fulfilled in order to advance in Level and certain benefits are given to users who reach each Level. Requirements include length of your membership, number of users invited to 2Bux, funds in your account, amount added to your account, number of transfers from your account and number of Video Auction Winning Bids. Benefits include Store Customization options, Commenting privileges, number of invites that you can give to new users, cash bonuses, commissions on exit fees from those users that you have invited to the system and possibly even stock in the 2Bux company.

What is 2Bux Money?
Users use 2Bux Money funds in their account to Bid on videos, buy items within the system and give to other users. Money can be Added to, and Withdrawn from, your account through a PayPal account. We credit your account with the full amount of your addition. Any PayPal fees accessed to us are paid by us and are not passed along to the user. For example, if you use PayPal to pay us $20, your account is credited with the entire $20. Money can be withdrawn from your account and added to your PayPal account. We charge an exit fee to pay for site expenses and to fund the cash bonuses and commissions that you can earn at various User Levels. If you Withdraw less than $100, we charge a 20% exit fee. If you Withdraw $100 or more, we charge a 10% exit fee. The amount of a Withdrawal, minus the exit fee, will be credited to your PayPal account within one week of your request. PayPal may charge additional fees. There are no transaction fees when you use money from your account in the 2Bux system. If you use all of the money that you add to your account, or earn from your 2Bux activities, you will never pay any fees at all. Fees are only accessed when you Withdraw money from the system.

How can I become a 2Bux User?
You must be invited to become a 2Bux User. You can be invited by the 2Bux administrators or by a current 2Bux User. If you want to become a 2Bux User, please email Kenny.

I have more questions. How can I get them answered?
Please check our blog. If you still have questions, please email Kenny.

What is the best way to find interesting YouTube videos?
Visit YouTubeStars!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

What is 2BuxMall?

2BuxMall is a place for videomakers to show what they have for sale. It's a place for fans to support videomakers. Videomakers will make customized Stores where they can show what they have for sale - paintings, CDs, T-Sirts - even PayPal Donate buttons. Videomakers will also be able to sell exclusive videos through an eBay-like bidding system!

Click here to see a demo of what a Store could look like:

Almost everything you see on the page is customizable. You can customize:

  • The background picture

  • The color scheme

  • Whether to show a Module or not

  • Whether a Module is in the left or right column

  • All Module description text

  • All pictures

Here is a list of the Modules that you can put in YOUR Store:

  • About: With one picture and text about you and your store

  • PayPal: A PayPal button to your account with a text description

  • Links: A list of links to anything you want

  • VIDEO: One video (we can host it if you want) with text description, that tells about your store and what you're selling. Basically, it's like your own TV commercial for your own e-store.

  • Pictures: A list of pics of things you are selling, each with text description

  • Custom HTML: Anything you want. Put it in the left column, right column, or in the footer. I have put mine in the footer and have included Google and Amazon ads.

You can put any or all of the above Modules on your page. The only mandatory one is "About" which always goes in the upper left corner.
Soon, you will have a chance to create YOUR OWN store and customize it however you choose. There will be a "Mall Directory" page which will make it easy to find out who has stores in the Mall. Oh, and by the way, this Mall does not charge rent. :)