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Tips and Tricks

August 13, 2007

BBC World News on CozmoTV Rocks

I’ve finally had a chance to sit down and watch some CozmoTV (besides very short test clips). The first thing I noticed was that there is a bug in the video playback auto advance mechanism. Most videos appear to skip at rather random intervals on to the next video in the lineup. Going back to find the spot where you left off in the last video sucks. This suckage is compounded when the video skips again. Grrrr.

 Anyway, we’ll resolve the issue. But the reason that I became aware of the issue was that I was watching a lot of BBC Worldwide clips. BBC is very familiar to me as I have spent some time in England, but I rarely watch the news when I’m on vacation. The BBC World News is really excellent. And it’s even better as a channel pulled from YouTube. There are a series of superb 1 to 4 minute synopses of stories worldwide. I feel like I have a pretty good understanding of what is going on in the world in about 20 minutes. I’d say this is faster and more thorough than my perusal of My Yahoo news.

If we can get rid of the skipping clips, I would say that BBC Worldwide on Cozmo rocks.

Aug 13, 2007 11:48:23 PM in Tips and Tricks | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 07, 2007

What are the Little Pink Numbers Next to Usernames?

You’ll notice that there is a little pink number next to usernames in CozmoTV. This number is the user’s CozMojo score. CozMojo is essentially a measure of your contribution to the CozmoTV community. You amass CozMojo when you rate shows, build channels, and add shows to channels. This score does not buy you much today, but over time the importance of having a high CozMojo score will become more apparent as we add some of the social features into CozmoTV. 

For now, simply look as CozMojo as some basic recognition of your efforts. Pretty soon we’ll be adding in the user pages such that the username link actually takes you somewhere. As these social features start to roll out and your CozMojo score becomes more important you’ll start seeing the appropriate level of attention devoted to those little pink digits.

Jan 7, 2007 11:13:39 PM in Tips and Tricks | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 04, 2007

Gaining Rating Confidence

I’ve been getting quite a few comments about our ‘Rating Confidence’ bar and the requirements to win one of the Wiis. To be perfectly honest, the Rating Confidence bar is a bit of a hack right now. CozmoTV has a pretty killer personalization mechanism at its core, but its primary weakness is that it is essentially useless until you feed it a bunch of rating information. It’s no secret that on day one, we didn’t have a lot of rating data. And without this base of rating data, the recommendations we provide are largely untargeted.

Now, this is not a permanent problem. We specifically designed the 80 for 80 Contest such that we could incentivize new members to provide us with the required base of rating information before our personalization engine reaches critical mass. We’re basically paying you for your ratings. This is also why most of the videos that you are seeing tend to be videos that have been most popular on YouTube. We weight our ratings heavily towards what is most popular in the absence of ratings and we try to feed similar videos to many people such that we can start to draw some conclusions based on relative interests. This should also allow you to rate more videos quickly.

Anyway, the bottom line is that rating shows in CozmoTV over the next several weeks will not yield you dramatic improvements in the quality of the recommendations, but this problem will get solved very quickly with good participation. We have made assembling Rating Confidence difficult so that we can accumulate as much rating information as quickly as possible without giving away 80 Wiis in the first week:)

Right now reaching 80% Rating Confidence requires the rating of approximately 6,500 shows. We’re going to review these requirements again within the next week, but at this point we are leaning towards dropping the requirement by roughly half. So, keep up those ratings, even if looks like the pace at which you accumulate confidence slows considerably (it does); you might see it jump substantially over the next couple of weeks…

Jan 4, 2007 1:12:53 AM in Tips and Tricks | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Building CozmoTV Channels is Simple

Over the next week or so we’ll be releasing an update to our interface. This update will consolidate control of channel and show actions under a single menu system. Until that time, menu controls are somewhat distributed throughout the interface. But if you want to build a CozmoTV channel, it’s still quite simple.

Let’s say you’re searching for music videos and you discover a rich vein of anime dubs that you find really compelling. At this point you decide that you want to create a channel of these videos so that you can share it with your anime-addict friends. Just follow the following steps to channel nirvana…

Step 1: Creating Channels

First, click on the link that says ‘Create a Channel’ at the very bottom of the light grey area of the show detail. (You will need to have registered to do this.) In the available fields, simply enter a title and/or description and then do a quick search on Google for an image. If you’re really enterprising, edit the image in PhotoShop or some other photo editor for that perfect effect. Size the image to 135 pixels wide x 97 pixels tall for best results. Once finished, click the blue ‘Create Channel’ button and you should get a pop-up confirming the successful creation of your new channel.

Step 2: Add Shows to Channels

At the bottom of the Create Channel section you also might have noticed a checkbox with ‘Add this Show to this New Channel.’ Check this box if you want the show you are currently watching to be added automatically to your channel. Otherwise, continue watching shows in your current channel or perform new searches to find other videos that you feel belong in your new channel. As you find these shows, simply click ‘Add to Channel;’ then select your target channel from the drop down menu and click ‘Add to Channel’ and you’re done. When you want to see what this channel looks like, select the ‘Saved’ tab in ‘Your Channels’ and click on the listing.

Step 3: Deleting Shows from Channels

Deleting a show follows an almost identical process as adding a show, but select ‘Delete Show from Channel’ before selecting the target channel from the drop down. Clicking ‘Delete Show’ should also yield a pop-up dialog confirming the deletion.

This process will be streamlined somewhat in the next release. And just keep in mind, we’ll be releasing a bunch of new tools to help you manage your channels over the next few weeks. Adjusting the order, or lineup, of the shows in your channels will be first.

Also, we do not yet allow you to upload videos through CozmoTV. We will be providing a universal uploader for multiple services shortly. In the nearer term, we will be providing a simple way for you to enter a YouTube URL for a video that you want to add to a channel and we will index the video immediately. We know this is kind of a pain, but we’re knocking out new features as quickly as we are able. Thanks for you patience.

Jan 4, 2007 12:54:32 AM in Tips and Tricks | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 15, 2006

Adding Categories

To be clear, categories are essentially the same things as tags (in most instances). We call them categories because they include synthetic “tags” such as Today’s Shows and Featured Shows and complex tag groups such as “Biography & History.” (This will be simplified in our Version 2.0 release when we will be getting rid of categories). But one of the best ways to navigate CozmoTV efficiently today is to limit the number of show listings in a category by creating a complex tag group.

Add_category_1 You can do this by clicking on the Add tab at the top of the category panel on the left hand side of the application. You then type in the tag of interest and click “Enter.” That tag will then be listed at the bottom of the panel. You can then add additional tags to the category by typing in the next tag and clicking “Enter.” Once you have the added all of your tags, just click “Save” at the bottom of the panel. You will then see the shows listed within your tag group displayed on the right.

Unfortunately the tags must exactly match one of the existing tags within the application (which are currently limited) and it does not provide a drop down of the available tags (which we will be adding when we begin scraping show descriptions for tags over the coming months.)

What I typically do is find a show that I’m interested in on the right. If it has multiple tags I will click on the Add tab and type in two or three of the tags listed in the show panel on the right. I will then save this category and see how many shows appear on the right. If I like the results, I will click the “Subscribe” checkbox in the upper right hand corner of the show panels to save that category for future viewing.

Mar 15, 2006 11:58:24 PM in Tips and Tricks | | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)