Dabble Press
October 26, 2006
Dabble In Insidebayarea.com

Site helps fans play with videos.
By Janis Mara


A GUINEA PIG SPROUTS Romaine lettuce wings and soars aloft to a song by TMarie, a housewife shares her recipes for perfect chocolate chip cookies, and PresidentBush "sings" U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in the top 10 video playlists on Berkeley-based video Web site Dabble.com.

The site, launched just two months ago by Mary Hodder of Berkeley, makes it possible to search through 2.6 million high-resolution video films online, then tag and organize them and, of course, watch them.

The videos you see on sites like wildly popular, San Mateo-based YouTube and Mountain View-based Google Video are hosted that is, stored on and served from those sites. That means when you visit there, you can only watch videos from their site. Dabble searches the Internet for videos, then, like YouTube or photo site Flickr, lets you classify them in categories such as "comedy," cooking" or "politics."

Video is sizzling hot these days, with almost one-quarter of all Internet users 24 percent accessing video at least once a week, and 46 percent doing so at least once a month, according to a study by the Online Publishers Association. Some 18 billion videos streamed online in 2005, up from 14.2 billion in 2004, according to AccuStream iMedia Research.

"Well over 90 percent of peoples' time online is spentwith content, news being the number one category," said Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence. "But video, of which news is the content leader, will be increasingly prominent in terms of what users do online."...

"We are getting 30,000 to 50,000 unique visitors daily. Not bad for a company that's only two months old," Hodder said. "We're very happy with the traffic."

Analyst Brian Haven of Forrester Research has commented that video sites "are becoming a dime a dozen," and Hodder readily acknowledges that there are some 260 such sites online. But Dabble is different, she says, because it searches the Web for videos instead of hosting them. Dabble currently has access to 2.6 million of the estimated 8 million videos online, and is working to get permission to aggregate the remainder.

http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_4457347

Site helps fans play with videos
By Janis Mara, BUSINESS WRITER
Article Last Updated:10/07/2006 06:20:49 AM PDT

A GUINEA PIG SPROUTS Romaine lettuce wings and soars aloft to a song by TMarie, a housewife shares her recipes for perfect chocolate chip cookies, and PresidentBush "sings" U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday" in the top 10 video playlists on Berkeley-based video Web site Dabble.com.

The site, launched just two months ago by Mary Hodder of Berkeley, makes it possible to search through 2.6 million high-resolution video films online, then tag and organize them and, of course, watch them.

The videos you see on sites like wildly popular, San Mateo-based YouTube and Mountain View-based Google Video are hosted that is, stored on and served from those sites. That means when you visit there, you can only watch videos from their site. Dabble searches the Internet for videos, then, like YouTube or photo site Flickr, lets you classify them in categories such as "comedy," cooking" or "politics."

Video is sizzling hot these days, with almost one-quarter of all Internet users 24 percent accessing video at least once a week, and 46 percent doing so at least once a month, according to a study by the Online Publishers Association. Some 18 billion videos streamed online in 2005, up from 14.2 billion in 2004, according to AccuStream iMedia Research.

"Well over 90 percent of peoples' time online is spentwith content, news being the number one category," said Greg Sterling of Sterling Market Intelligence. "But video, of which news is the content leader,
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will be increasingly prominent in terms of what users do online."

Hodder, Dabble's founder and chief executive, works out daily at a Berkeley gym just two blocks from the office and emanates a fresh-scrubbed glow of excitement over her newly launched business.

"I was just writing a search algorithm," says the 39-year-old CEO, leading the way up the stairs to a light-flooded office overlooking University Avenue in the heart of downtown Berkeley, where she and her nine employees work 10-hour days.

As new dot-coms launch and venture capital flows, a resurgence of the former dot-com boom dubbed "Web 2.0" is under way, and Dabble is part of it. Though most Web 2.0 startups are in San Francisco, as they were back in the late 1990s, both Dabble and another video-oriented site, Fliqz, launched in Berkeley in the last four months.

Like the dot-coms of days gone by, Dabble is funded by angel investors. Somewhat uncomfortably, like those long-gone dot-coms, the site isn't making any money. But there's a revenue model in place and a newly hired business manager to handle it. Like YouTube and most of the other video-oriented sites, Dabble.com plans to make money from advertising. Hodder says that she is already getting calls from potential advertisers.

"We are getting 30,000 to 50,000 unique visitors daily. Not bad for a company that's only two months old," Hodder said. "We're very happy with the traffic."

Analyst Brian Haven of Forrester Research has commented that video sites "are becoming a dime a dozen," and Hodder readily acknowledges that there are some 260 such sites online. But Dabble is different, she says, because it searches the Web for videos instead of hosting them. Dabble currently has access to 2.6 million of the estimated 8 million videos online, and is working to get permission to aggregate the remainder.

Dabble has a long way to go to catch up with YouTube, which accounts nearly half of all videos watched online with about 100 million viewings daily and has, according to Neilsen NetRatings, 20 million unique visitors a month. However, as Hodder points out, YouTube has been around a year and a half, and Dabble only two months.

Hodder, who holds a master's degree in information science from the University of California, Berkeley, worked at Technorati, is an information architect for several Web service companies with social media sites, and blogs for Napsterization and Berkeley news site Beast Blog.

"As more and more people make video, there's a giant fire hose of information online," Hodder said. "We're hoping to help people find what they're looking for."

Business Writer Janis Mara can be reached at (510) 208-6468 or jmara@angnewspapers.com.

Posted by Lisa at October 26, 2006 03:08 PM
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