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Eric3579 Hits Galaxy!

@eric3579 is a community manager. Sure, he might say he’s not - and maybe he even decided not to be an “official” one here on VideoSift, but he is just the same.

He has all of the qualities of a good online community manager - he sees the humans behind the avatars, treats people with sensitivity and respect and most of all gives a damn about what happens in the community.

I’ve come to value what Eric has to say, as I know he’s got his ear to the ground of the community. In many ways I’d say he knows VideoSift better than I do.

Thanks Eric, for all of your contributions over the years, for being you and helping us make VideoSift what it is - happy to call you a friend and colleague-in-sift. Happy Galaxy!


VideoSift is 10

They said we wouldn't make it ... OK, no one really said we wouldn't make it (except maybe me a few times) ... but we made it!

This is our 10th Siftiversary. I'm still having trouble digesting what that means. VideoSift has been such a major part of my life for the past 10 years that it's hard for me to imagine that there was a Pre-VS time. Not only has VideoSift given me an outlet for my own ideas, it's taught me how a community works and what it means to work in a team - a big team spread around the Earth.
... more inside ...

Swedish SF Series "Real Humans" is pretty good (Blog Post)


If you like science fiction that deals with the social and cultural implications of technological changes - you might enjoy the Swedish series Real Humans. The show takes place presumably in the near future - though don't expect lots of futuristic vehicles or settings. The only real futuristic object are the hubots themselves. They are humanoid robots that have integrated themselves into society as appliances, maids, nannies and sexual aides.

I'm only half-way through the season but it's a fun show. Not perfect - but it gets my seal of approval as quality SF that makes you think. It's showing on the local Australian network SBS, and also exists out there in the ether ... you know where.

Congratulations on PlayHousePals' Ascencion

Well - it's been a long time coming, but I'm really happy to announce that @PlayHousePal's galaxy badge is complete. My understanding is that PHP is really into baking, and this is some kind of kitchen device.


And here's my special song for PlayHousePals. I always thought that "Playhouse Pals" would make a good TV show, so this is kind of intro song for that.

Playhouse Pals Galaxy Ascension (VideoSift) from dagmaggot on Vimeo.



Thanks PlayHousePal for all of your contributions to VideoSift and enjoy the highest rank that our community has to offer - you're a galaxy now baby!

Alien_Concept Ascends to Galaxy Level!

I'm really happy to announce that one of my favourite (yes, that's the right spelling) Sifters has reached Galaxy level. I'm always amazed at the dedication required to have 2,000 sifted videos - especially as your founder is languishing around the 650 mark. I feel a real sense of gratitude and respect for people who contribute this much to our little community. Thank you Alien_Concept. I present the bespoke and solitary Alien_Concept badge!:



Designed as usual by our pal Chris Murphy - I think he's captured a confused alien perfectly.

Also - as is our custom here, I've written and performed a song in Alien_Concept's honour (again with the spelling). This time - I draughted (er, is that right?) Siftbot to help with the writing and performance - as musically, I'm about tapped.

Alien Concept Galaxy from dagmaggot on Vimeo.



Alien Concept - we do what we must because we can
Siftbot here to tell you what I'm thinking
With regard to your comments - I have to say I've read them all
Your biology won't set you free - you seem obsessed with Dave Grohl

[F]But There's no point [c]dwelling in the [Bb]things you've [F]repressed
meat life is [c]weak you're just the [Bb]same as the [F]rest.
Although I'd [Gm]rather not [c]stay - Dag has [F]forced me here to [Dm]play
[Bb]This song for [A]your galax[D]y.

Alien Concept - Do you mind if I call you AC for short?
Let's move on to other things I've noticed
I've already noted your love for dark and grungy lads
I'll make a prediction and put forth, your favourite colour is plaid

[F]Well these points of [c]data make a [Bb]wonderful [F]line,
even Ricky [C]Gervais fits my [Bb]graphing just [F]fine.
There's just [Gm]one point that doesn't [C]fit a time for [F]hearts and chocolate [Dm]bits -
it's your [Bb]hatred of [A]Saint [D]Valentines.

Sydney Sift Up Pics

The Sydney Sift Up, though intimate, was a heck of a lot of fun. I can now reveal that the secret fly-in Sifter is @maatc. He was in town for a wedding and didn't want to spoil his surprise arrival for the buck's night. We were also joined by @Volump nee @volumptuous (long story) who had flown in recently from the US. Although I'm a naturalised Australian - there was definitely an international flavour to the afternoon and evening. We talked a lot about the big LA Sift Up of 2009 - as Volump was there. This was also the second Sift Up for Maatc - who attended the Euro Sift Up, also in '09 (a good year for Sift Ups).



Circular Quay was beautiful at 2 PM. Street musicians were playing by the dockside right next to the massive ferries making their way to Manly and other suburbs.


Lots of skyscrapers as Circular Quay kind of blends into the business district of Sydney.


The train station is where I got off - Maatc came by ferry and Volump by bus.


This is the moment when Volump arrived - he took a picture before we even knew who he was. Maatc was up getting another round.


We talked about all of you - Volump and I drank Fat Yak, Maatc drank Coopers. The mysteries of the Sift were revealed


Cheers! After an afternoon of pints we took the train to Sydenham - for dinner at a great grungy pub that Volump knew. Really nice chicken schnitzels, BBQ and IPAs - though I was on ginger beer by that time girding myself for the drive back to Canberra.


Prelude to a Sift (Blog Post)

To commemorate the launch of VideoSift 5, I'm writing a series of blog posts covering the history of VideoSift

In 2003, I was a transplanted yank working at a national satellite TV provider here in Australia (Americans, think "Dish Network" but with kangaroos). I started in the IT department in the basement, where I was doing Perl programming- pulling in big billing files and radius usage logs then manipulating the data.

At 34, I was starting to feel the first twinges of the black dog of depression. I was sleeping more than I needed to, talking less than I should, porn, booze - that kind of stuff. At some point, something snapped. This may seem a bit hokey, but I read a self-help book that really helped me. It was the "original" self-help book, Dale Carnegie's "How to Win Friends and Influence People". I don't mention this book much - because I usually get a lot of flack for it. It's seen as a manual for sleazy sales guys or a book of "tricks" for getting what you want. For me though, an introverted computer nerd, it was a manual for how to talk to people. That was exactly what I needed. Probably the most important thing I learned from it was to give honest praise to people that is accurate and true - and never flatter.

At the TV company, I got a different job out of the IT department, as the "Internet Product Manager". This was a job where I actually had to talk to people - so it's a good thing I studied for it.

My big deal was to push for video programming over the Internet, to allow video to be served up anywhere over lots of different Internet devices. Here's a presentation I made in 2004. I presented it to people in suits around a big mahogany board table. It didn't fly. I was completely shot down. ADSL and wireless broadband were too slow. Satellite broadband barely existed - and there was a lot of fear about cannibalizing a subscription TV service that had nice fat margins.

I was pretty burned out from all the billing programming and then subsequently fighting against conservative TV management people who couldn't see it my way and what I thought was the writing on the Internet wall.

So I quit. We sold the house, pooled our cash and decided to take 6 months off for a round-the-world trip. Here's a picture of me right before we left:


To this day, I still call this the happiest time in my life. If you can afford to do it, do it. Think of it as an investment in your soul. We spent our days hiking and exploring, thinking about what our next destination would be - and exposing the kids to some culture. Here's a picture of me after being on the trip for a bit:


We arrived back in Australia in late 2005 with our bank account severely depleted, but not yet empty. I couldn't cope with going back to work. I planned to take a few more months off to do … something. I had some ideas that had been bubbling around on our trip but hadn't settled. I rented a little office, the extra examination room of a chiropractic practice, down by the beach. My office mate was a good friend who had also had enough with corporate stooge jobs and was working on a kind of motorised skateboard idea. We sat in our office, drinking Coronas from a bar fridge and taking the occasional walk down on the beach. The perfect fertile ground for ideas.

Next episode: The history of VideoSift Part I where I reveal some Sift secrets:
  • How James Roe and I cheated on Metafilter to launch the site
  • My only true sock puppet
  • First contact with @lucky760
  • Michael Arrington makes a fool out of me and I throw a community under the bus
  • Meeting with the Reddit team in San Francisco

  • Happy 8th Siftiversary



    This is the second version of this post I've written. The first one was titled "You Won't Believe the One Crazy Thing That Happened on VideoSift's 8th Siftiversary". It was complete shit. The title was an allusion to click-bait sites and "viral" titles. The post had lots of clever digs at sites like Upworthy and Viral Nova. But what's the point.

    The truth is that I'm very proud of VideoSift. It's the thing that I talk about if people ask "what do you do?" at a barbeque. Outside of my family - it's the best thing that I've ever started. It's this big deal that, even though I have little to do with on a daily basis - I get to point at and say "I started that". Me. me. me. It's fucking great. I put a damn VideoSift sticker on the back of my car and I drink from a VideoSift mug.

    So I'd like to thank everyone who has made VideoSift possible -and in turn made me feel like a proud SOB. I hope that I've been at least a benevolent founder - and to many of you, a friend.

    Thank you to everyone who makes this place a real community. The posters, the *promoters, the *banners and crazy commenters. I know there are other sites you spend time at - me too. But I'm really happy that we have a core group of dedicated Sifters who make this place great.

    I like that people sometimes don't "get" VideoSift for a while. The crazy badges, in-jokes, history, regulars and problems. I like the rich complexity that we've built together - and I've come to realise it's not a common commodity on the Internet. So instead of snarking at other newer sites that have sprung up during our 8 years of existence- right now I choose to revel in the amazing thing that we've all built together- a unique entity that cannot be replaced or duplicated. VideoSift is VideoSift. We're a tautology baby.

    What does the future hold for VideoSift in its 9th, 10th and 11th years? You tell me. One nice thing about VideoSift is that we're not beholden to a board, investors or any other outside parties. It's just me, @lucky760 and you guys. The people who run VideoSift are the people who know VideoSift. Most of the changes have come from the community. We can do anything. Turn VideoSift into a porn site? Sure we can do that. (though I'll be sleeping in the back of a van in a park). Only cat posts allowed? - sure and maybe we should - it works for Reddit. (zing! OK allow me one dig) I'd like to yield the floor to you all - but I may chime in with some ideas too. (when I wake up - midnight here)

    Thanks again to everyone who does all the great work on VideoSift to make it a unique institution -and thanks as always to my partner in Sift @lucky760. Long live VideoSift!

    VideoSift 5.0 Launch!

    It's been over three years since we've had a major number release of VideoSift. As VideoSift becomes a richer, feature-laden community - it becomes harder to change. This is inherent in all software; websites are no exception. So this is a big one. If the current exponential gap between major releases continues - we may have VideoSift 5 for the next 20 years. ;-)

    So it has to be great - and I think it is. We start with almost all of the features from the previous version and add some polish - throw in a great new UI and make things work better for mobile. But wait … there's more!

    @lucky760 has completely rewritten the way the code behind commenting, logging on and invocations work. It's cleaner, quicker and just plain works better.

    We're also happy to add some new badges that are going to be a lot of fun - and useful.

    Talent Scout:



    Talent scout is awarded to Sifters who find videos that are new or not yet a big deal on the wider Internet. There's a little secret sauce in the formula but if you submit something that most people haven't seen yet, you'll be in the running for this one.

    Relatividdy:



    We've added a new invocation called *related. It's very simple to use. If you find a VideoSift post (and by post I mean video, Sift Talk, or blog post) with content that is related to another post, just invoke related like this: *related=http://videosift.com/video/Crystal-Blue-Persuasion

    Queue Angel:



    Awarded to Sifters who help out quality new videos in need, flying below the radar, and assisting new Sifters, trying to lose their P. More secret sauce here, but having Sifters working in the queue is good for the Sift and good for surfacing great videos that maybe aren't getting the love they deserve.

    Other changes:
    • The maximum number of Power Points you can accumulate is based on your years of membership. E.g., 5 years on the Sift = 5 Power Points limit. You can always buy more Power Points than your limit.
    • You can now transfer your Power Points to other members, limited by the recipient’s Power Point limit.
    • If you have at least a Bronze Star, you can now submit video from any source; you are no longer limited to the list of approved hosts, and you can submit iframes from any host.
    • The most recent three *promoted videos now stay at the top of the front page. When a new video is promoted, the oldest of the top three is cycled out.
    • Blogs now reside on your profile, however they can be *promoted into Sift Talk.
    • All custom styling for channels and profiles has been reset (sorry guys). Charters can use the new profile customizer, but channels cannot be stylized for now. We'll try and get something going for this in an upcoming release.
    • We've moved channels from subdomains to sub-directories. E.g., it is now videosift.com/happy instead of happy.videosift.com
    • Likewise, we've had to remove subdomains from charter memberships, but your last known subdomain will forward to your current profile.
    • We've simplified Charter membership pricing. It’s now only $9 for 1 month and $7 for a recurring monthly subscription. You can now gift a Charter membership directly on a deserving Sifter's profile, with a single click.
    • You can expand video descriptions inline on listing pages.
    • *Amazon and all related features have been removed.


    Lastly I just need to thank a few people. Thanks to Ragnar Jarve who did the incredible new design (I love the dark). Thank you to PSD2HTML who converted Ragnar's design to a responsive web app that works great on iPads, iPhones, and Android devices. Lastly, thanks to my partner, the inimitable @lucky760 AKA Rommel Santor for all of the development and another great release, especially when juggling a newborn bub.



    We've opened up the usual bugs thread here. Please report any bugs you find while using our new VideoSift.

    Congratulations to Pumkinandstorm on reaching Galaxy!

    An incredible ascension - so quick that we don't quite have her new badge ready yet - but I want to take this opportunity to say thanks for all your contributions and tell you how amazed I am that you've reached this level so quickly.

    We may not have your badge ready, but, as is our custom with galaxy level Sifters, I have written and performed a song in your honor. With great apologies to the Fab 4:




    (and we really need to sort out that whole which one of you is a cat thing)


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