Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New Members allowed in!

Renetto announced today that the people who requested invites over the last few weeks will now be allowed in to VH. Over 200 people had requested invites and had been held off until Verified Indentity could be implemented. That has been delayed, as we reported yesterday. A decision has been made to allow new members in, even without Verified Indentity in place. The site has been working well and there has been very little trouble, so it was decided that there would be little danger from letting in a bunch of new members.

Admins are still the only ones allowed to invite new members, but it may be that any member can invite people to join, in the near future.

Welcome to all new VloggerHeads!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Verified Identity Delayed

Renetto reports that VH's new Verified Identity system is delayed. There is a problem between WidgetLaboratories (WL), a third party software provider, and Ning, which is the platform that VH is on. It seems that VH was negotiating with WL to provide programming for threaded comments and possibly Verified Identity, but now WL has been banned from Ning due to alleged TOS violation involving degradation of Ning functionality. Other relationships will have to be developed to provide new software features for VH.

If you are one of the over 200 people who have requested an invite to VH and are awaiting an answer, you may have to be patient for a bit longer. The VH admins are doing all they can to roll out features as fast as possible. They do not think it is right to allow more members in before Verified Identity is in place. They had thought they would get that done last week, but apparently this WL situation has created a delay.

Most people are still enjoying their membership in VH. The site is running smoothly and there are now over 2000 videos uploaded. The admins are very active in the community and do a great job of keeping the members informed about as much of their plans as possible.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Verified Identity

Well, Monday came and went without any disruption to the site. There had been threats that the site would be brought down Monday night at 9PM Eastern time. There was no such drama.

But there is internal drama, or at least voicing of opinions by videos and blog entries, about the topic of Indentity Verification. It is supposed to be a cornerstone of VH. The thinking is that a person should be held responsible for their actions in the community. If a person acts in a way that gets them banned, they should not be able to get right back in using a new identity. This happens all the time on YouTube. Also, VH wants to avoid "sock puppet" accounts where one person interacts using many different member names. This also happens on YouTube. One person can appear to have many subscribers, viewers and commenters when in reality, many of the accounts were created by the same person. Or, a person could use sock puppet accounts to create drama by arguing with... themselves!

VH members are enjoying the community and many have stated that they have made more friends here in a shorter time than they have on any other site. They seem to be comfortable with the community. Part of this is probably due to the fact that this is a controlled environment. The admins only invite people they know, and they take the time to interact with the community to address their concerns and report on new and upcoming features.

In the next phase of expansion, the admins want to allow anyone to invite people to the site. Once this happens, people will enter that the admins don't personally know. In order to keep the same level of comfort and trust in the community, the admins want to roll out a system of Identity Verification. It has been suggested that this may require present and future members to submit a credit card number or other form of unique ID. Many in the community are wary of this. Some worry about the safety of their information and imagine that a hacker might get into the VH database.

Renetto recently made a video that mentioned Identity Verification. He said the admins were looking into "third parties" that currently provide this service. They are evaluating these companies and may present their proposed identity vendor to the community in the near future. If they use a third party, it is possible that the VH admins will not hold any ID data in their database and may not have access to it via the third party either. Presumably, the admins will choose a trustworthy company that has a track record of safeguarding sensative data. Until they decide how they will implement the identity verification function and tell the community exactly how it will work, all the community can do is speculate and talk about what they would or would not be comfortable in doing to verify their identity.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

VloggerHeads FAQ

Here are some common questions and answers about the new video sharing site for video bloggers - http://www.vloggerheads.com/. This is an unofficial FAQ!

Last updated: September 29, 2008

Why is the site invite only?
VH is invite only so that there is some accountability for everyone on the site. Everyone on the site has been invited by an admin, or by someone who was originally invited by an admin somewhere in the upline. If someone is banned for bad behavior, this may help to keep them from coming back on the site.

Beginning on October 1st, anyone can apply to be a member. Paul or Tom will review the application and decide if the person will be accepted as a member.

Why wasn't I invited?
The admins of VH generally aren't sending out unsolicited invitations. That means that you have to ASK THEM for an invite. Usually, if you ask them for an invite, you will get one. Or, if you have a friend who is a member, ask them for an invite.

Why is no one under 18 allowed on the site?
The admins want to encourage members to talk about all sorts of subjects. Some members may choose not to talk about certain topics in the presence of minors. The Admins want to allow adults to vlog with other adults.

How do the Admins verify identity?
Right now, they know everyone who has been invited. In the future, there has been talk of a plan to verify identity by Credit Card and/or phone number but no exact details have been decided upon. However, they have said that they are looking to a "third party" to perform the identity verification. The admins had thought about using WidgetLaboratory for ID verification but they were just banned from Ning, the platform VH is built upon. This has delayed the implementation of ID verification.

Who is allowed to invite new members?
At first, only Admins could invite new members. Since September 16th, all members may invite new members.

Can a person look around the site without being a member?
Starting on October 1st, non-members will be able to view videos marked viewable by "Anyone." Non-members will not be able to comment, or post their own videos or blogs.

Is this an "elitest" site where only certain people or certain types of people are welcome?
No. Almost everyone who has asked for an invite has received one. The email address to ask for an invite has been provided on several YouTube videos. These videos encourage people to ask for an invite. People under 18 will not be invited, as discussed above. Certain people who have made threats against the site have had their request for an invite denied, but there is an ongoing discussion in the community about persons that have been denied as to whether they should be given a chance to enter the community and demonstrate that they can follow the rules.

Is this a "nicer" site than YouTube?
People seem to be getting along well and are talking out their differences in a fairly mature manner.

Are people actually going to this new site?
Yes. There are over 900 members and well over 3700 videos on VH. The site receives 10s of thousands of hits a day.

Is this Renetto's site?
Renetto (Paul Robinett) is co-founder of VH along with 5 other YouTubers. He is a co-owner with Tom, an Admin and spokesman for the site.

Does Renetto/VH have a team of developers?
There are around 3 programmers who are modifying the PHP code from the Ning Platform that underlies VH. They are not being paid but may become employees of VH if and when a corporate entity is set up.

Are there Moderators and what do they do?
There are currently 5 moderators who are there to encourage positive interactions and to look out for problems. They do not have the ability to edit or delete content. Only admins can do that.

Is this TheTropolis?
VH is an "experiment" in "pre-alpha" testing. It may be a stepping stone to TheTropolis, which has been under discussion by several of the VH admins for well over a year. It has been said that TheTropolis would cost quite a lot of money to develop and may be at a standstill until financial issues are worked out.

Who maintains this FAQ?
This FAQ is written and maintained by me, "KennyCrane," a frequent writer on YouTube related matters. I am not a VH admin nor an insider in any way. I am a member of VH but I haven't made a video there. I do make an occasional blog post and I comment on some videos and blog posts. So far, I have enjoyed my time on VH. My goal with this blog is to report on VloggerHeads as factually and objectively and as I can.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Tom discusses VH and attacks

Today, Tom (tlg847) did a 10 minute video about why VH was created and how some are threatening to attack the site. Tom starts by saying that VH was created by the people who have been planning TheTropolis, but that they didn't really have a detailed plan to start VH. He goes on to say that there are some people who are against the site and they have threatened an attack on Monday night. Tom says he will not "lose" because, to paraphrase, "we will continue to say what we want to say and express oursevlves the way we want to express ourselves." Tom invites anyone interested in joining VH to email him, see the description in Tom's video, below.

Meanwhile, VH has about 520 members now and over 1200 videos. People are having good conversations with others and the site is working very well. A person was on the site earlier tonight who claimed that they were "handed this channel by a fellow warrior of the lulz." They posted a video which was quickly removed and their account was closed. It is unrealistic to expect VH to be able to keep out any and all troublemakers, but they have said they intend to remove people who do not follow the rules, and this seems to be happening.

Here is Tom's video from today, but you'll have to watch it on YT because he has Disabled Embedding.

VloggerHeads Is Our Site

Watch this video on YouTube

Made by: tlg847
Rating: 4.47
Views: 215
Comments: 32
Category: Entertainment

VloggerHeads: A New Internet Experiment

If you're 18 years old or over and interesting in an invitation, send an email request to:

Friday, August 15, 2008

VloggerHeads first 3 weeks

The VloggerHeads (VH) video sharing community continues to grow. There are now over 400 members who have posted over 1000 videos. The site is working well with no major technical problems. New abilities are added every few days. People seem generally happy to be members of this site.

As with any group of people who come together to freely discuss issues, there have been differences of opinion on various topics. But these differences have generally been discussed in an adult civil manner. At least one member has been banned for not following the simple site rules, and that member has provided his side of the story in YouTube videos.

Today, someone created a YouTube account and posted several videos that were copied from the VloggerHeads site. Most VH members assumed that this would happen eventually, but some were surprised by this development. Some VH members posted videos on VH that they stated they would not have posted to YouTube. The effects of this VH "spy" situation are still developing, but some people have said they may remove certain of their videos from VH. Many people are wondering who the spy is, and who invited the person into the community. This matter may put a little chill into what has been a very warm community.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What is VloggerHeads

VloggerHeads (VH) is a new video sharing community. It is currently in a testing mode. The site opened in late July 2008 and its members can join by invitation only. At the moment, only Admins of the site can invite new members. The site has a few simple rules and hopes to be a nice place to interact with other people who like to make video blogs.

Today, there are over 200 members on VH. There are over 650 videos on the site. People seem to enjoy the atmosphere and the site is running smoothly so far.

Best wishes to the new website, VloggerHeads!