Tuesday, September 07, 2010
First of all, on behalf of Wimp.com, I would like to apologize for not releasing a statement sooner. Based on the various complaints that have been circulating among the various Comments sections of the Wimp.com submissions on Reddit, it's certainly been long overdue by us.
I wanted to clarify some of the complaints.
The most prominent complaint/accusation is that Wimp.com doesn't comply with DMCA takedown notices. This is certainly not true; we have pulled many videos from Wimp.com over the years. Here are a few:http://wimp.com/meetsloths/
If an owner of a piece of content would like to point out a DMCA complaint that they've submitted to Wimp.com that we have not complied to, please do not hesitate to do so.
Complaint: Wimp.com removes watermarks from videos.
We do not. There are a plethora of videos on Wimp.com that contain watermarks. If a video doesn't contain a watermark that should, or previously did, it wasn't removed by us; it was submitted that way. Please also note that Wimp.com doesn't attach its watermark on videos, like many other websites do. We don't believe you need to stoop to that level, and we know that a lot of videos are circulated and nobody really knows where they originally came from. So why would it be right for us to pretend it was ours in the first place.
Complaint: Wimp.com has no intention of providing credit to authors.
This is not true. We do wish authors to receive credit for their videos. There is a reason we don't link to Youtube videos, though. To answer this complaint, it is two-fold. I will start with the most important point regarding Wimp.com:
The first thing you'll notice when you reach Wimp.com is the fact that it is a family-friendly website, suitable for all ages. We have many youth visiting our site on a daily basis. It is not atypical to receive emails from parents telling us they often gather around the computer with their kids to check out the latest videos on Wimp.com. The thing is, Youtube is not family-friendly. On even the most educational video you might encounter on Wimp, on Youtube, it's not that difficult to encounter hate-filled, obscene remarks. In addition, many of the videos on Wimp.com are censored (parts cut out, words muted), so if one were to view the original of the clip, they'd encounter the unsuitable version.
It is also not atypical to receive comments from teachers praising us for our efforts, articulating that they'll often allow their students to explore Wimp.com during class time, given its family-friendly, educational benefit. It is not atypical to have them be enthusastic about wanting to contribute content, either. Here's a comment that we received earlier today (from an .edu email address):
"Hello, I am a professor at a small community college and I was wondering if you have any time limits on your videos? I have some good educational videos I would like to make available through a free use site, but have not found one suitable for my needs. This site seems perfect as I don't have to worry about my video being linked to something not appropriate for education. Thank you, [name removed]"
As can be read from our Upload/FAQ section (which is prominently displayed on the front page of Wimp.com, more prominent that any other video website, I might add): http://upload.wimp.com; our goal is to be anti-sensationalistic. That means, all the hate-filled, trashy kinds of videos you'll often encounter on other websites, you will never see on Wimp.com. Maury Povich, Jerry Springer, etc. type of stuff that regular day-time TV often displays nonchalantly, that would never appear on the site. It is true that we used to display such content, but not any longer.
So these are the reasons we do not link to Youtube, specifically.
Based on the comments I've read in various Reddit posts pertaining to Wimp.com, nobody has really pointed this out from our Upload/FAQ page. Perhaps it is our mistake for not making it more prominently visible (despite the Upload/FAQ link being the loudest text on Wimp.com's front page). The following is an excerpt covering the reason for the website being as "basic" as it is. Note the last paragraph in asteriks which speaks toward providing credit and more information about authors:
Why isn't there a section for additional video information, user comments, social bookmarking and share buttons, color, graphics, a proper background etc. on the video pages?
We wanted to make Wimp.com stand apart from the crowd, otherwise we're just a part of the crowd, and taking up a corner of the Internet with a service that is redundant. In our opinion, a lot of current sites are filled with a variety of bells and whistles that most users don't ever really use or touch. It's gotten to the point where those features are just a blur to the user's eye, kind of like how we perceive ads to be. We thought, why not take the opposite approach and offer just the essentials?
In addition, a large portion of our user base consist of children and seniors. Many have indicated their strong desire in keeping things simple, brief, and to the point.
Please note: We have no qualms with video authors providing additional information about their clips and/or a reference link to their respective website(s). We encourage it as it provides more context and detail to the already fascinating video that they've created. However, because of our unique setup, we ask that authors do so from within the video clips themselves (e.g., an introductory screen, credits screen, watermark, etc.).
* If you are a video author, and you wish to modify/add an introductory screen, credits screen, watermark, etc. to your video, please upload your new video file via the upload interface above, and contact us here with the filename and date of upload, as well as the URL to the Wimp.com video you wish for us to replace.
Complaint: Wimp.com is making a lot of money.
We do not. As much as we would love to keep Wimp.com ad free (we have in the past), the site continues to grow, and server and bandwidth costs along with it. During our increased costs we have opted to keep ads to a minimum. We currently have one banner ad and one cube ad on all pages. Many would agree Wimp.com pales in comparison with the amount of ads it employs vs. the amount of ads other websites in the same field employ. We've done this on purpose, because our goal to monetize traffic comes second to our goal in not impeding the experience of our users.
Complaint: Wimp.com has no intention of compensating content creators.
This is covered in our FAQ page:
Do you plan on creating a compensation program like some of the 'other guys' in the video industry?
Eventually. While Wimp.com has been around for some time, it is still a relatively small website: monetarily, and traffic-wise. We grew through word of mouth opposed to purchasing a bulk of traffic from other ad companies. We also didn't make our video pages laden with ads so as to maximize profits at the expense of burdening our users. That would go against our desire in keeping things minimal. So, in short, it needs to be feasible for us.
Moving forward, what we plan on doing differently:
In addition to our upload feature, and in addition to allowing content creators the ability to amend their videos to add additional information (site name, URL, watermark, etc.), we're planning on adding a text link back to their respective non-Youtube websites, that are suitable for all ages. Perhaps we'll add a text-link at the bottom of the video that says "More Information"; we haven't really decided on the structure yet.
As for a comments section, that will not be coming. Managing a comments section for trolling is difficult, if not impossible. Everything on Wimp.com needs to be suitable for all ages; that means all outbound links, everything contained within the video. Everything. Children are children, they will not discriminate clicking what they have the ability to click on, or following what they are exposed to.
Of course, as stated previously, we also plan on creating compensation program for content creators similar to the Break/Youtube model. However, we need to get our finances in order before we can begin offering this. Many people often complain about the poor bandwidth reception from Wimp.com especially in countries outside of North America. We still haven't resolved this issue.
Wimp.com is not, and never will be, a get quick-rich scheme. It wasn't easy when we made the switch to solely offering family-friendly content. We lost a lot of visitors when we did this, and received a lot of complaints. Shock videos, or people getting hurt skateboarding, or celebrities cursing on the phone (even if it's censored), and other types of sensationalistic videos still garner some of the most hits in the video industry, that's why a lot of sites focus on that type of stuff. And they're not wrong for doing so, because of course there will always be a need for it. But that's not Wimp.com.
Wimp.com is also not a website with a ton of ads, or to squeeze as much revenue as possible from the end-user. I really mean this when I say, we, the staff of Wimp.com, really want to do more good in society than harm. This isn't just about the money for us (money is important); but it is much more than that. I certainly think we've demonstrated that with many of the decisions we've made.
If you have any suggestions on improvements we can employ on our website, please do not hesitate to comment below. We will be reading all comments posted in this thread, however we will not be responding to them. If you have a matter of personal concern, please contact us here: http://wimp.com/contact/