CU-Boulder student creates user-friendly online television site
Jul 05, 2012 (Colorado Daily - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
University of Colorado graduate student Houman Farokhzad can't decide which YouTube videos he's in the mood for today.
His morning coffee came shooting out of his nose while he laughed at "The Star Wars That I Used To Know" Gotye parody, but the YouTube recommended "I'm Farming and I Grow It" LMFAO knock-off didn't live up to his expectations.
"I was thinking there needs to be something where you are hanging out with a group of friends trying to pick something to watch, and everyone is making suggestions," Farokhzad said. "I needed some suggestions from people who are into the same things as me so I'll know what to watch next instead of trusting computer-generated recommendations."
Farokhzad's new online television website, alldayon.com, will give viewers a chance to rate videos they've watched and even live chat about the videos as they're playing.
The site was launched about two weeks ago, after a month of development, Farokhzad said.
Online radio stations like Pandora and Group Shark inspired Farokhzad's site, which currently offers viewers eight channels that cycle through popular YouTube videos. The music-inspired site kicked off with mainly music videos.
Stations currently include: pop, rock, classical, sports, funny, tech, short films and other.
"After a while of listening to online radio, you start hearing the same songs over and over," Farokhzad said. "The hope is that people will recommend videos or even upload new ones for people to watch so the options will be endless."
Farokhzad said he began with a basic site that includes little more than a video player, "like" and "dislike" buttons and a few channels to choose from...but he has big plans for creating a user-driven experience.
media share buttons, live chatting and a user rating system are the next features Farokhzad is hoping to add to the site.
"This site is all about giving the user control over what they're watching," Farokhzad said. "It's really important for me to put the viewers first and get their feedback, because they're the ones that will make it successful."
In only two weeks, the site has reached users in at least 12 countries, Farokhzad said.
For now, the site does not require users to log in or link to any social media sites. The only ads that appear on the site are the ads from the videos themselves which can easily be hidden.
Farokhzad said eventually he would like to make the site a capital venture, collecting revenue through ads or other features that will not only support the servers but also his living expenses.
"You gotta pay the bills right," Farokhzad said. "Obviously, at some point I'd love to be able to make living from this. But I'm mostly excited about creating something that people are interested in."
"It just seems like this is something that could really take off if I do it well, so that's the focus now, giving the users what they want."
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