Today we let the cat out of the bag on Magma. Here is a quick rundown of what the site is!

Magma is an entry point for online video. When you first land on the page you are presented with two sections. The top section shows you the most definitive view to date of the most popular videos on the internet. This is based on a variety of factors including, total views across duplicate videos around the internet, cumulative comments, likes, blog posts, tweets, diggs, stumbles, etc.

It’s not just about popular videos. The second section is recent videos by platform. For instance, you can can see all of the recent (or popular) videos on Hulu, or YouTube, or the most active videos on Twitter, Friendfeed or Facebook, etc. You can also see videos aggregated by blogs, other networks and publishers. The home page is just the the beginning. You can go on from the home page to explore in depth (e.g. show me all sports videos from Brazil and generate an RSS feed; show me all of my friend Ted’s tech videos). And any individual can add any videos or RSS feeds into Magma so that Magma will track the videos across the internet.

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From the home page you can only do three actions: Watch a video, add it to your queue to watch later, or dive deeper into exploring more pools of interesting or relevant videos.

Every video has an individual archive page. The experience includes the ability to watch the embedded video of choice (i.e. you can select a setting that will always show you the highest quality version that Magma can find, for instance) while viewing cumulative statistics, in depth. Numbers and buzz feed items update in realtime (e.g. while you are watching a video, you may notice an uptick in the view count, comments, likes, tweets, diggs, etc.).

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(*note: In the above screen shot, you can determine that this video is most popular at this time on Reddit first, and then 2nd most popular now on Digg, it appears as though it was Extremely popular on Twitter, but that was probably earlier on, and it may just now be hitting StumbleUpon. From this, we can infer that because this video is Digg/Reddit-popular, it likely suits the kind of niche personality stereotypically found on these kinds of sites. Play it, Keyboard Cat!)

The third element of the website includes the ability to collect videos, become a tastemaker/curator by building a community of people who like to watch the videos you aggregate, and in general, queue, watch, share and experience videos online with your family, friends and followers. This is where things can get really interesting in terms of filtering and finding less popular videos that are more suitable to your personal interests.

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In addition to providing the most comprehensive aggregated public view for any video so far, most of our data is available through APIs so other statistical businesses, platforms and developers in general can use Magma’s data set to enhance their own projects.

Thus, there are three main use scenarios for Magma that position it to become an entry point for video online:

1. The majority of people who use Magma will likely come to the home page, watch a few videos, and then leave. Due to the dynamic changes that occur across a day, it’s possible some of these people will enjoy hitting the home page up to a few time per day, habitually as a source of entertainment.

2. Publishers who put videos on the internet may want to direct their audience to Magma to show-off the most impressive viewpoint of surrounding buzz. (e.g. instead of sending their audience to a link on YouTube to see the video, they may want to send their audience to a link on Magma because it may show more views, comments, etc. than on YouTube.) Furthermore, as Magma grows, it could become an important bench mark for anyone creating video online, much like the Billboard charts is to music. Even today with what we have built already, if your video hits the top charts, thats pretty impressive.

3. The third major usage of Magma is by people who create accounts, add videos they find around the internet into Magma, add videos to their Magma stream (to collect) and/or build up their own community, to naturally become tastemakers by propagating videos through to their friends. (e.g. if someone has 100 followers on Magma, every time they add a video into their stream (say a video that they found on Magma or even on YT that they think is funny), that video will then get sent out to their 100 followers who may watch and further propagate the videos, adding more views and distribution, naturally. By integrating with Twitter, Facebook, etc., Magma users can auto-post through (e.g. you can configure Magma to automatically send out a Twitter message when adding a video to your Magma stream).

The business model is simple. Statistics and advertising. Magma demonstrates the democratization of video statistics from the center of a transparent fire-hose. Re: advertising, we have integrated a premium space (not seen in above screenshots) that sits right next to the most popular or most relevant videos on Magma, for anyone who has a video that wants it to be seen. For example, if a company like Next New Networks or CBS, or any individual has a new show that they wish to promote, they can buy a premium space on the Magma home page, or on a relevant related page to gain extra exposure to a particular video.

Finally, if you remember, way back in the day, when you wanted to watch TV, there was only one place to go and funny enough, it wasn’t TV. It was the TV Guide. It had its iterations in print, but it was a key selling point for any Sunday newspaper and if you wanted to know what was on TV, you had to have a TV guide.

From charts to  guides to stats to friends to likes, there is one thing that has not changed: People like to watch the moving images that they like to watch. All together, everything about Magma is obvious. Its just that the time for Magma wasn’t six months ago and in six months, it will have been too late.

Want to get involved now? Beta testing will begin with 100 people this week and the site will go live in about two weeks. Interested in investing? We have just begun talks for assembling a small seed round and are open to anyone interested.

Thanks to Jamie, Greg and Todd who built Magma from ground up, line by line, and to Kenyatta and Ellie for helping to run the show.

I’m excited to reveal the actual website URL for Magma. Until then, you can find the sign-up on our temporary dev site at http://hotlikemagma.com