earthnoise.com :: a video sharing community on the web
Editor and communities manager, Product manager
What was earthnoise?
earthnoise.com only existed for a couple of years. We wanted to give everyone who had a webcam or consumer-grade camcorder the opportunity to easily upload, share and even edit their own videos online. This was back when people were using slow dialup internet connections and hotmail was still offering only 2MBs of storage...
earthnoise and me
I joined earthnoise.com a few weeks after it was founded in June 1999. I was one of the first two employees - the other guy was the development department, while I was initially hired as a consultant to help design a template based online video editing wizard. I didn't have any other projects at the time, so when they asked me a couple of weeks later to also handle the site's editorial (I had some journalistic background), I agreed. Then I was asked to also act as product manager for the video channels product and all other editorial and community features of the site, and for a while I also managed the customer support team (and taught twice a week at university).
In February 2000 the website was launched. By then we had had a hotshot CEO straight from TV guide, strategic deals with AOL and Real networks, offices in Tel Aviv, New York and San Francisco, and almost 100 employees. We had great press, including TV coverage from CNN and TechTV (which still appears on their site - click on the video and it's some 9:50 minutes into the program). This brought us a customer base of several thousand video contributors, with hundreds of thousands of hits every month. People were uploading, editing, sharing, viewing and discussing things. Months of working 16 hours a day, 6 days a week, had finally paid off, and we began planning integration with hand-held devices and mobile phones.
And then the internet bubble burst
earthnoise.com was conceived for a broadband internet and 3G phones era - which was then still in the making. It was too far ahead of its time. Although we did have thousands of satisfied and active members, and even some paying customers, we could not demonstrate enough quarterly revenues in the very short term, and our investors soon pulled the plug.
I never got round to design that template based online video editing wizard they hired me for. I was a bit sceptical about it back then, and I still haven't seen it done by anyone else either. If you've come across a good template based video editing system, please let me know.