Photobucket and Picasa Added to TiVo

[I’m CEO of Zooomr]

Photobucket, Picasa bring photo-sharing to TiVo | The Social – CNET News.comCNET is reporting on a new partnership between TiVo and Google’s Picasa Web Albums and Photobucket to allow photo sharing on broadband-connected (read: DirecTV suckers and TiVo Series One users are out of luck) TiVo units.

While this is somewhat interesting it is a far cry from the killer photosharing home media app…. which would look like this…

Build a social photo sharing site that serves up four kinds of photos to your TiVo/MCE.

1. Photos that are highly ranked using social algorithms which you have *never* seen before. This would be an ideal digital art machine. Simply put on some music and pull from highly ranked imagery from a social photo sharing site to show you new and interesting art. You could also customize this view by keyword — so for instance, if you were headed out of town on a trip to NYC, you might want to look at NYC photos in the weeks ahead of your trip, etc.

The key to this view would be not showing you any photo more than once. Every photo would meet a minimum social activity criteria and you’d have the option to either give the photo a thumbs up or thumbs down rating from your remote. In the case of the thumbs up you would actually be favoriting the shot on the web based companion site. These thumbs up and thumbs down ratings would also be used to further refine the social photosharing alogorithm and personalize it to your taste. For instance. If you marked a highly ranked photographer thumbs down enough, it would eventually cut back the offerings from this photographer to your box. On the other hand, you might consistently rank a lesser ranked photographer as thumbs up and you’d see more from their photos.

This would be the holy grail for home media art and it could also be infused with select collections of photographs if you could get someone like Corbis to open up some of their historic archives and play ball as well. You could also include large collections of public domain art.

2. The next view of photos would be your existing faves. These would be shots that you either marked thumbs up on your TiVo/MCE machine, or they would be favorites marked on the web. Although you would have seen every single photo in this view before, they would all be photos that you liked and ideal for creating a sort of consistent visual experience when entertaining etc.

3. The next view of photos would be photos of friends and family. You could choose to randomly look at photos from your friends and family or simply view their most recent photos. You’d be able to specify and filter out individual friends and family members if you wanted to and also employ the only new photography setting for this view as well.

You could also, of course, use the same thumbs up thumbs down functionality on these photos.

4. Your photos. This view would randomly pull from your photos. You could also employ certain filters for these photos (such as only show me photos of mine that have received 5 faves or more).

Build this and you have the winning photo-sharing home media strategy. Most anything else will likely not succeed because it will be too difficult to navigate with a payoff that is too low to generate any real interest beyond the initial novelty of the concept.

Central to this strategy would be employing the most powerful tool to best present photographs, social activity.

As an aside, such a system could also have significant value for image search.

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One Comment

  1. BigScreen.com says:

    I like your ideas, and I agree that having something like this appear on someone’s TV would be a great thing to have.

    If TiVo were to approach Zooomr about such an integration, is Zooomr ready?

    How possible would it be for someone to create a screen saver (or just a normal app, or even a web application that could be run on any platform) that would provide these functions on a person’s PC instead? I know that there is a screen saver (Slickr?) that does some integration with Flickr, but I haven’t looked very deeply into it yet.

    This kind of community sharing (as well as the pro-photo angle that you describe) would be a great way for Zooomr to have a little viral action going on.

    I would love to be able to set something up for relatives so that they could have an easy way to view family photos and nice scenics that would be constantly updated instead of just drawing from a directory on their PC that I have to update manually.