Hey Gang! - New Ideas for TPSocial in 2012!

Published by: Spencer Forman on 29th Dec 2011 | View all blogs by Spencer Forman
I've been extremely excited to see how many quality video producers have "blossomed" here at TPSocial... awesome!

When I started this site back in 2001, there was no one publishing any video from trikes (at all)... and I was happy to put up postage-stamp sized low res vids.

2001-trike-odysssey.jpg



Fast forward to 2012, and we now have HD resolution, and studio-quality production levels... all being done by passionate individuals with no formal training. WOW!

2012.jpg



After trying some new things last year to expand our community offerings, it has become clear that the number-one most used feature on this site is the video hosting and commenting. As such, I'm going to "re-boot" the Trikepilot Pro side of the site in January by creating a "Featured Producer" section.

This new section will be for site members who have previously posted videos that demonstrate an incredible sense of style and production value. Once someone is invited to be a "producer" of videos on the pro-side, their videos will be featured in this new section and receive the voting of the community.

It is not my intention to be exclusionary, and no one will ever be prohibited from posting to TPSocial. Rather it is a way to focus the spotlight, and give some special attention, to those who demonstrate that they are really crazy-wild over making awesome videos. For everyone else, it is a way to have a more "cinematic" experience, with a curated menu of "top-notch" videos from which to view (if you so choose).

Let me know what you think about this idea?

Safe and Happy New Year!
Spence

Comments

28 Comments

  • Tom  Tabbert
    by Tom Tabbert 6 years ago
    I just ordered up my 4th camera today. Good timing! lol
  • Eric Elbourne
    by Eric Elbourne 6 years ago
    Sounds good Spence, there are a few guys here like Henry and Tom that should feature, they inspire me.

    My wife gave me a GoPro 2 for Chrissy so I have two to start playing with in the new year. Cheers and Happy New Year to all....
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 6 years ago
    Overall, since Trike Pilot Social is THE place where spectacular videos are abundant, we (Spencer and his vast team of quality programmers waiting for his command ) should provide a system where people could find what they want and provide the ultimate resource in trike videos. Information is power for trikers. The problem is that there are so many great videos, it is hard to know what to watch, and second, there are so many old ( a week or more is old with today’s attention span) and many great videos are overlooked and soon forgotten. So “if you are asking”, what I think would be the best for everybody to provide a library and cauterize the videos so people could go to the category they want and watch the subject of interest. This would create the ultimate video site that ALL would reference.

    I propose the following categories for trikes:
    Scenic inspirational music – the main staple of trike videos
    Extreme triking – what we should not do but air show videos that push the limits
    Artistic/creative
    Trike aircraft info details
    Trike accessories – such as radios, panels, flight suites, com systems, EFIS, tires, trim systems
    Trike maintenance
    Camera mounts
    Basic learning to fly training
    Advanced pilot training
    Stories of adventure
    Trike accidents and what not to do
    Other – this would include other videos not in the categories listed above.
    I am sure I forgot a few but I think this is a good start for the future of trike videos to be most useful for all.

    This is not to say that featuring specific people should not be pursued, yes this is a great idea. But I think that providing an information data base of triking videos for the past and future would take trike pilot social to a new level.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 6 years ago
    I like the idea but I have a more conservative approach here, I think by doing any kind of competition there will be few trikers who would try to push the envelope just to get the perfect shot and it may lead to trike accidents at some point in their flying. Because once you do something silly and get away with it, you start feeling invincible and that could cause problems down the road. So as much as I enjoy making trike videos and watching and praising others trike videos on TPS, I am kind of against the competition just for the safety of trikers.
  • Herman Eldering
    by Herman Eldering 6 years ago
    I favour a "story" approach, in other words a video that tells a story of an experience whether a first timer, a particular trip, humour, lesson, visually appealing, but I particularly favour learning from others who have insight into areas that are not so easy for some to understand.
  • Spencer Forman
    by Spencer Forman 6 years ago
    @rizwan: I agree with your intentions, but just to clarify: good video production and cinematic style have nothing at all to do with being "unsafe"...why would they?
  • Spencer Forman
    by Spencer Forman 6 years ago
    @paul: the new producer pages will have categories, tags, and a searchable taxonomy...yes. Far better than the current site video pages.
  • B  Alvarius
    by B Alvarius 6 years ago
    Trikes as video platforms are incredible tools for presenting the world around us. The stability, ease of use, open cockpit design, ability to change flight envelops with a change of wings all combine to create an aircraft the is well suited to capturing aerial images. A byproduct of the videos created is the positive promotion TPS and the sport receives. An important aspect of the proposal is the mechanism showcasing videos. Reaching potential viewers online (potential converts to trikes) is the goal to grow and promote this form of aviation and the indexing of particular videos is important to getting the widest possible viewing audience.

    Therefore, I would suggest not limiting or topically categorizing videos. Everyone perceives the world differently and this extends to aviation videos created by individuals at TPS. Everyone is telling a different story and the mass appeal of a particular video can not be easily defined. For example, how many movies have received rave reviews from critics only to be box office failures, while “sleepers” which received poor reviews were box office hits. Rather leave it up to the individual creator to tell the story they want. The diversity of style and topics employed by videographers at TPS is broad and this diversity is a strength. Videos from around the world telling different stories from different perspectives but with the commonality of trikes as video platforms is a way to maximize number of potential viewers.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 6 years ago
    Spence there are many current cool videos that in my opinion are already pushing the envelope, such as flying too close to ground with no landing option etc. And either those pilots or someone copying them could get in trouble when they least expect it. I had my second emergency landing (where I wrecked my wing) making a video and trying to get red bull type of shots of my friend flying and I was totally ignoring that I had no landing area in sight. Having said that I will still be publishing videos on TPS. My worry about the competition is only from safety stand point of view. Thats all :)
  • B  Alvarius
    by B Alvarius 6 years ago
    I would suggest there is a difference between the appearance of risk and actual risk a pilot chooses to accept when capturing images for a video. Some forethought and planning before flying with a camera can provide for a margin of safety not visible to the viewer. Simply changing a lens from a wide angle to a longer lens will change the appearance of relative distance making something further away appear much closer and can be used to the advantage of the videographer when trying to create a mood or impart a particular feeling. It is also important to remember the video camera is pointed in a particular direction and the rest of the view available to the pilot is not necessarily available to the viewer. It is perhaps more work on the part of the videographer (requiring more work, time, and flights) but I believe it offsets any negative.
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 6 years ago
    Of course videos need made by the producer posting them right?!? .. I mean.. no point just finding a great video in youtube and posting for this sort of friendly competition. To me freedom is the key to this ... the producer chooses all ... that is why is great. We get to vote for the best production. Some may like dynamic .. others my like mixing .. music .. is all open!

    Riz.. point well taken but you know we can't prevent someone from producing great videos and share with us in a friendly competition just because someone else has no common sense. So - nothing we can do about that. Anyways, my idea of a winning video has nothing to do with risk taking.
  • Spencer Forman
    by Spencer Forman 6 years ago
    Hey guys...
    The new site is up, and i just have to clean up a few things before releasing it. I think this will be great.
    Featured Videos, from select Producers. Anyone can become a "Producer" if they get enough votes for their vids on TPSocial or are recommended by other Producers on Pro. (works like http://dribbble.com/ )

    I'm also going to have some requirements:
    1) ONLY REAL NAMES AND PROFILE PHOTOS ALLOWED (sorry... but I'm completely fed up with the goofy icons and such)
    2) HD 16x9 format only
    3) Pre-approval to get on to Pro to comment or contribute (no anonymous parties anymore, to control spam)
    4) There will be an updated activity stream, forum, groups, and a few other "pro" versions of TPSocial Features.

    My hope is that, over time, this will elevate the bar a bit on TPSocial and prove out the new features... so that ultimately we can filter out the "real" 600 or so (of the 3000 members) who are contributing monthly... and give them a better experience.

    Classifieds and Connect are both being killed for lack of interest.

    Spence
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 6 years ago
    Spence... also I think videos should be from TrikePilot Producer (member)... I mean no YouTube great stuff done by somebody else .. I mean those are great to share too but not for this right?
  • Spencer Forman
    by Spencer Forman 6 years ago
    Yes, it is ok to upload and encode on Youtube or Vimeo, of course... but the videos HAVE to be from the Producer themselves. I will have a special "catchall" category where anyone can submit a cool video (like the ISS one I posted), and this can be added by TP Pro in general.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 6 years ago
    Looks good Spencer. Take Two for trike pilot. I remember doing some videos, the joke is "Take 10" to get it right.
  • Paul Hamilton
    by Paul Hamilton 6 years ago
    After looking at the requirements, I think it is a mistake to make a requirement for HD. Some of the best stories winning the best awards are not in HD. Stories are best, or more important than how many pixels are on the screen. Let’s allow the best videos of any resolution which represent triking for all pilots, economic levels, history, and creative juices for any pixel resolution. HD is great but it is the story that really counts to push the envelope for video productions. HD is grerat but not the end result.
  • E Harv
    by E Harv 6 years ago
    Yes, no reason to have the HD requirement. People will be voting. If they don't like a video because it's not HD, then they won't vote for it. Not necessary to regulate because you just never know what someone might come up with. If the Academy Awards and the Cannes Film Festival don't regulate format, then it's probably not necessary to do it here either. HD, by its nature, will be the dominant format anyway.
  • Tony  Castillo
    by Tony Castillo 6 years ago
    I second that opinion from Paul.
  • Peter Del Vecho
    by Peter Del Vecho 6 years ago
    Just my two cents, but I do not like the idea of segregating the videos and creating a class system. I know the ones I like to watch most simply because I look for their names. (henry, Tom etc.) and they are currently easy to find. but I still want to enjoy watching even the beginners videos. My fear is by creating a class system and a separate place to view them, no one will watch the beginners videos so over time this will die out only in favor of the current film makers. I don't want to have two places to look, Maybe I misunderstand the intention, but if we all only sign into the pro side, it sounds like it would be very difficult for a new film maker to ever make it to "producer" on Pro from TPS if no one is watching their progression
  • Spencer Forman
    by Spencer Forman 6 years ago
    Hi Peter,
    Don't think of it as "segregation". Instead, think of it like minor-leagues vs. major-leagues. At a certain point in time it becomes necessary to move up the bar a bit and create a place that is a higher-quality (curated) experience for the viewer. That's why there is Major League Baseball and the minor leagues. There is no "segregation" that keeps a player in one or the other...except for their talent. When a player starts out, it's usually in minor leagues, until they are voted up to "the show". Likewise, if their talent wanes, or they aren't trying hard anymore...they can get sent down to "the farm". It's that simple.

    I've grown this site over the last 12 years or so, and can see that there are about 600 active participants out of more than 3000 members. From those 600, there are about a dozen that produce the "best" stuff... in terms of video quality. They have done an outstanding job, and for my part, I want to see their stuff only and not have to search them out from the rest. That doesn't mean I don't still enjoy TPSocial... it's just that when I want to watch a Major League Baseball game, I turn on the proper channel... and that is what I want when I'm watching trike videos.

    A second reason, which makes this inevitable, is that the technology I used to build the existing TPSocial is out of date and a closed platform. My company now builds the 'new' software that is used on the Trikepilot Pro site. By using that as a testbed with a limited amount of producers, I can better see what is working and what is not. Ultimately the new software will replace TPSocial's current code as well...even if the two branches do not merge in terms of content or participants.

    We'll see how the experiment goes... I don't see any risk of alienating anyone, since everyone can watch and vote... it's just those who are nominated or "discovered" that get their videos posted on Pro.

    Cheers!
    spence
  • Peter Del Vecho
    by Peter Del Vecho 6 years ago
    But the problem becomes, who watches the minor leagues? I know I won't try out if no one is watching.
  • Spencer Forman
    by Spencer Forman 6 years ago
    a LOT of people watch the minor leagues... and furthermore, that is where all the talent scouts hang out looking for the next "superstar"...
  • Peter Del Vecho
    by Peter Del Vecho 6 years ago
    I hope your right. :(
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 6 years ago
    Spencer, what if you had a simple "Thumbs Up" and "Thumbs Down" feature with every video and after so many "Thumbs Up" that video got moved to Pro as well, wouldn't that make it easier. I don't know how many pilots are signed up for Pro but this way the same video could be enjoyed by pilots who are not upgraded to Pro yet.
  • Spencer Forman
    by Spencer Forman 6 years ago
    Right now the way it will work is that I can see how many people give good ratings on TPSocial videos... and there is also a submission form on TP Pro where a Producer can submit any video, including one from another potential Producer. I also have email, of course.

    I think that there is no need to overcomplicate this.

    The new site is going live tonight to begin experimenting with the features. I have a dozen or so producers that I'm putting into the system. Rizwan, you are one of them... so I'm sure you will get a chance to give some good first hand feedback.
  • E Harv
    by E Harv 6 years ago
    But "overcomplicate" is what it sounds like you're doing. Again splitting things between pro and social. And splitting videos into two groups. People want to see good videos, not videos from particular "producers." With your system, if someone new submits the greatest video ever, it won't show up in the "major league" page. Unless someone there nominates it? Complicated. Videos can be rated. Highest ratings rise to the top of the page if you want to sort by ratings. The good "producers" would naturally rise to those spots and their videos will be set above the rest without you having to control it so much. And then the odd video from a newbie, even one shot on super-8 and transferred to mini DV, can still get the attention it deserves if everyone thinks it's the coolest video ever. As you said, we only have about 600 active members. It's not like we're trying to sift through the entire YouTube world.
  • Spencer Forman
    by Spencer Forman 6 years ago
    @ E Harv - It's not complicated. They do it now on the http://dribbble.com/ site I mentioned above (for web designers). Anyway... go have a look for yourself, the new site is now live. I'm just waiting for the initial batch of producers to register, and fill in their "best" videos to get things going.

    Ratings don't work on this current site, mostly becuase the technology is bad... but also because there is too much "noise" from all the videos. It's like a teacher who gives 95% to all students... meh...

    If you are concerned that one cannot be creative... then my suggestion is SUBMIT AN APPLICATION and see how it goes. I think I've shown over the last decade that I'm a "benevolant dictator" ... and want everyone to feel like they can participate. But it's no easy task to manage the needs/wants of 3000 people, with many of them not truly interested in helping the site to go to the next level.
  • Rizwan Bukhari
    by Rizwan Bukhari 6 years ago
    I am quite honored Spence, this year, I will be making fewer videos but focusing on stories.
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