Platform Explainer Video Surprise

I was going to title this “Magma’s Recent PR Event”, but it wasn’t exactly a PR event, we just made a video and put it on Rocketboom. Though it turned out to be so important, it’s worth mentioning. Rocketboom is a content studio, but Magma is a platform for content, two completely different businesses. We have a small but growing user base on Magma and putting out a video that explains to people what the site is and how it works has always made a lot of sense, it’s just that I had no idea how much of an impact it would have…it literally doubled our user base within a week after posting it.

A philosophy many people believe in (me included) is that a very simple platform with one very simple idea is a very good way to start. Being the best at something very special and ultimately simple is key here. Google often likes this idea, e.g. their search page is very simple as it’s just one thing to begin with, a text box. Twitter is a good example of a seemingly simple platform too as it’s just a simple box where people type in some characters and hit enter. If Twitter started out looking like Tweetdeck however, a popular complex tool for twitterers, Twitter probably wouldn’t of caught on the way it has.

Other platforms are relatively complex in terms of feature sets, like Facebook for example. Facebook has so many features and so many things going on there, even the regular users are still learning about the various capabilities. Magma fits in this complex category too, especially in terms of where it’s going. And different people use it for different reasons right now so discovery of new ways to use the site had been slow.

When we put out a video explainer to the site, it was like a night and day difference in terms of how people have been talking about it. Instead of load of questions questions, suddenly people are writing about it and commenting with excitement and ah-ha’s as if they suddenly see where it fits in.

This is one of the neat things about the video medium, especially theater-house movies. People tend to come in, sit down and all go on the same-exact ride through the full course of thoughts and emotions the director intends. No detractions along with no time to reflect, you just get sucked in and come out with the painted story.

I was just reminded again that I wanted to post about this after seeing that Jamie had whipped up a quick integration to Boxee for Rocketboom, Know Your Meme and Magma and made a demo video explainer on how to install them. Though another reason for this post to include “press release” in the title, we hear there are big plans for the Boxee directory so soon you wont need a video to figure it out I think but until then, once again, the point I think by now is clear: Video explainers for can be VERY helpful.

Considering our video is a whopping 6 minutes and 23 seconds long I would highly recommend a much shorter video in most cases. I have no regrets for us because as I mentioned, Magma is pretty darn complex and we wanted to get it all out there. It’s just that in our case, we had Molly who singlehandedly scored the intent just by her awesome performance alone.