Best Practice Review: Revision3

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Revision3 LogoRevision3 is a new media company that describes itself as a “TV network for the web”. They publish technology related video shows such as Diggnation, TekZilla, popSiren and about a dozen other shows.

Revision3 states that their “expects professionally produced programming but wants it to be unexpected, edgy, smart and real.” They also understand the importance of a multi-device content strategy, stating that their audience “wants to watch shows whenever they want, wherever they are, and on whatever device they choose, including everything from a 70″ HDTV to an iPod or Cell phone.”

We used our best practice framework to evaluate Revision3′s user experience, content production, marketing distribution and monetization efforts. Our evaluation was limited to what we could evaluate from their website, their downloadable content and their RSS feeds.

Our overall impression is that Revision3 demonstrates many of the best practices Digital Podcast has identified and sets a standard of performance that other publishers should use as they benchmark their own practices.

Here’s the video podcast with our best practice review of Revision3

User Experience
Presentation of the Downloadable Media Category
Revision 3 does an excellent job of presenting its content portfolio. The home page is a rich directory view of the content and provides multiple ways for people to find the content they want. Show lists are provided as part of the navigation bar and as a directory panel on the top right of the home page.

Highlighted shows and recent episodes are well marketed on the page.
Revision3 Home Page

Show Homepage
Every show uses a standard format for presenting the show. The page is colorfully branded for the show, presents the most recent episode on the left panel and provides a show description panel on the right. Below the most recent episode are a listing of previous episodes with pictures and descriptions. The previous episodes are presented as one of three panels available to the user. The other two panels available through some nice use of ajax are subscription options and community.

Diggnation Show Page

Episode Detail Page
Every episode has a detail page that presents an attractive player that supports advertising overlays, show notes, subscription options, download options, embeddable code for sharing, links to other content you might like and links to the discussion about the episode.
Diggnation Episode Page

RSS Links
Revision 3 presents a good range of subscription options. There are clear links for subscribing in iTunes, Zune and Miro (a free, open source internet video player). There are also feeds available for flash, Quicktime, mp3, WMV and Xvid. For most of these formats a variety of sizes are available. There is no 3gp format available for supporting cell phone video player standards.
Diggnation Subscription Options

Audience Interaction
There is strong support for audience interaction with the show via the community panel on each show page and the recent forum posts on the episode detail pages. This integration could be made tighter allowing interaction/commenting to happen right on the episode page. The page currently sends the user to the forums to add comments.

The site presents a good range of options for users to share the show with others including email and embeddable code so the player can be added to blogs or other social pages. There are also links directly to a number of social sites to help with sharing.

Diggnation Community Tab

Media Player
The flash player offers options of low and high quality, volume controls and play controls for starting, pausing and moving within the video. The player also supports video overlays.

The online flash player started immediately. The site makes the content available in wide range of formats thereby supporting a wide range of devices. Downloads are available for Quicktime, mp3, WMV and Xvid. For most of these formats a variety of sizes are available. There is no 3gp format available for supporting cell phone video player standards, although the small m4v feed should play in most cell phone video players.

Range of Content
Revision 3 offers a good range of content. It provides 16 different shows with a heavy emphasis on the technology and popular culture. Each show is presented in a uniform manner using Revision 3′s platform for presenting the shows.

Publishing Schedule
Shows are produced on a regular schedule with a standard release day for weekly shows. Revision 3 also publishes a release schedule showing releases by day of week and time. This helps the audience know when to check in for new content.

Production Quality
Video was good quality video.

ID3 tags
ID3 tags were present and used. However, the comment field went unused and no album art was included with the tags. There is room for improvement in utilizing the full capabilities of the ID3 tags.

Feed quality
Feeds for the show validate at RSS tags are used as designed and iTunes tags are well used. The item tags included image links and media RSS tags.

File Naming
File names are well used with a format of showname-episode number-date-size.format. For example, diggnation–0149–2008-05-08sigh–small.m4v

Google Search Engine Optimization
Search for Diggnation lists show in first result.

iTunes Search Optimization
Search for Dignation lists show in first result.

We checked five leading podcast directories and the show was listed in all directories.

Sharable Player
The show offers a player that can be embedded in blogs or social networking sites. No advertising on the player itself.

Album Art
The RSS has links to a 300×300 image for the show. The 300×300 size image was originally recommended by Apple. Apple is now recommending square .jpg images that are at least 600 x 600 pixels. No album art was included with the downloaded file tags.

The shows use a combination of pre-roll sponsor splash pages and video overlays for advertising. The web page has inline display ads.

Premium Content

No visible use of premium content monetization.

Shows have sponsors. Splash pages are used at the beginning of the show to highlight the sponsor. The sponsors are also listed in the show notes with a paragraph of text about the sponsor.

Revision3 does have a clothing store. DVD and ecommerce integration are opportunities for expanding monetization options.

Paid Syndication

No visible use of paid syndication.


Revision3 appears to be using BitGravityas a content delivery network and to provide the onsite media player. Video started playing very quickly and smoothly even at high quality levels. Download speeds from Revision3′s site seem to be quite good and ran between 150 and 200 KB/second for me.

Revision 3 – Top Recommendations

  1. Improve ID3 tags to add show descriptions, notes and album art
  2. Increase the level of integration between comments and content so that people can comment on the show or episode pages without having to go to the forum section on the website.

[tags]podcasting, best practices, Revision3[/tags]

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