Normally when I'm sent to see a website I get there and I'm overwhelmed with options, profile fields, signup forms and a general plethora of things to inspect. Today, that is not the case. In fact, Video-Alerts.com might have the fewest fields I have seen on a web page since fields were first put on a webpage (yes, I've been surfing the web that long.) Some might call it spartan or minimalist, some might call it lacking.
So Video-Alerts.com seems to want to do one thing and do it well. That one thing is to be (according to their about us page):
..a simple yet powerful service for people who want to get notified when new videos are uploaded to YouTube...
That just so happens to be exactly what the site is, and nothing more. There's no social networking aspect to it. There's no sharing your alerts with your fellow video searchers and there's no "hey look what I'm looking at" section of this website.
There are in fact only two areas to this site. There's the account page which is where you go to manage your account itself and there's the Alerts page where you go to set up your alerts.
Now the Video-Alerts blog states:
- Google has their own video alerts service (part of Google Alerts). But it wasn't good enough - they only send alerts on "popular" videos...
So I went to the Google Alerts help to see what they had to say about it and that was:
- A 'Video' alert is an email aggregate of the latest videos that contain the search terms of your choice and appear in the top ten results of your Google Video search.
Aha! So if a video doesn't show up in the top ten for my search it won't show up in my alert. But what if I'm tracking videos by channel name? Well, I do this with the Gamers Daily News channel, aptly named gamersdailynews . In fact I have a host of alerts setup at Google to catch all mentions of our brand elsewhere (see Video Tracking Tools).
Is this site Useful?
Well yes, and no. Yes in that it might help you track a wider scope of videos, for example if I were to use 'video games' instead of the GDN channel name the hits would be enormous I'm sure. Now looking at my results I have amassed on the Google alert over a week was a thimbleful compared to the first alert I got from Video-alerts which covered 28 videos spanning today (Friday, Feb 13, 2009) all the way back to one month ago. I can only imagine what the results would look like if I were to use the search 'video games.' It would brutally butt up against any 'max videos' limit on Video-Alerts (currently either 50 or 100).
Is the site useful? Maybe if you want to track a particular brand that could be included in almost any video. Maybe if you're using videos on YouTube for some purpose like to populate your blog or something, but I can't really see a major use for Video-Alerts in my world. I know that we had 28 videos posted in the last month, why do I need to be told that they were posted a month ago?
Simply put, there's not enough to Video-Alerts at present to make it useful. Each Alert only has the text search, category, keyword or user, frequency and max videos. After it sends you the first 'catch up' email which will go back a full month or so, it will track only new videos that match your keywords. For now, I think I'll stick to my "as it happens" alerts on Google Alerts because I know exactly what I'm getting there and if I refine my keyword search well enough, the top ten videos should be more than enough every day.
If you want to learn about more tools for traking your online video marketing and branding efforts, read our post, "Tools to Track Online Video Marketing, Brands & Social Footprints"