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Once in a Google-plex

3 Aug, 2006 By: Jessica Wolf

Google had better get on the stick.

I am rapidly and rabidly becoming a devotee of Web-based video content. (I'm toggling between the site's video offering as I write this, popping over to competing services, too).

I think I might be addicted to iTunes. I love cruising around services such as Youtube.com, Revver.com, Vmix.com and MTV Overdrive. And, during the TV season, I made regular use of ABC.com's ad-supported re-runs of episodes of “Alias” and “Lost” I missed.

Lately, I am really digging Amazon.com's new “Fishbowl” online entertainment channel. I'm hooked on the “Rockstar: Supernova” reality Webisodes on Rockstar.msn.com.

All of the above have proved to be very pleasurable entertainment experiences, for the most part easily navigable and user friendly.

Friday, Aug. 4 should bring another feasting ground as I am looking forward to playing around with the public Beta test of AOL's new vide-on-demand extravaganza.

But Google? Google, not so much. This service's beta phase has been going on for more than a year. The site is organized poorly, it's not fun to interact with, it's difficult to find the content I know I want and it rarely inspires me to discover content I didn't even know I wanted.

Just the raw sketch that pops up when you type in www.aolvideo.com looks far more interesting and compelling than anything Google has to offer. AOL has a lot of potential to steal existing Google Video users I think.

So, Google had better get on it, and come up with a more interesting portal because I think that is what will rule the day in the digital age that is so quickly impending. (I am far more interested in this segment of the business than I am home-theater or high-def — I don't think I am alone).

I believe that, online video hounds will expect to be entertained even as they shop for videos, free, pay or otherwise. It's the equivalent of visiting a store where you have fun, get a good vibe over another competing location.

Price and content are key for the digital future, but so is experience.

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