Now here’s a concept you’ll find stirring. I’ve always believed that one of the biggest problems with YouTube wasn’t the site itself. There’s plenty of content there, in varying levels of quality. The problem was actually FINDING anything on YouTube. YouTube’s search function is a joke, and reduces you to looking for a particular bale of hay in a hayloft the size of Detroit.
YouTube adds, last I knew, got TWENTY HOURS of video added to it every minute. This makes trying to find anything a downright impossibility.
Enter Totlol, a web service that figured, hey, maybe we can help parents find kid-friendly videos in the middle of this morass of EVERYTHING, and make a few bucks with advertising. And it was starting out well until YouTube suddenly pulled the rug out from under. From Totlol founder Ron Ilan:
What has changed – In the simplest of terms – the ToS were modified, July 7th 2008, to deprive from Totlol and/or similar sites the ability to generate any meaningful income using the most common methods on the web (ads/sponsorship/promotions). Under such terms the potential for any service is very limited. Most will die. The exceptional ones (as Totlol is) will survive, but will not breakthrough. This was done a looooong time ago and they intentionally hid it.
Frankly, this is a bad move for YouTube. It’s already difficult to sift through the masses of videos that show up every day, and for them to make it even harder by forbidding third parties to get involved (not that they’re forbidden, it’s just that they can’t make any money at it) won’t help them any.