Are you a fan of Instructables or SuTree? Looking for a place with just science-related items? SciVee is a site for video clips of science experiments and processes that might be just up your alley. The service originally opened up to the public in late August but today is unveiling a newer, updated look with some new features to help users find and interact with content.
At its heart, the site has been designed with scientists (both established and fledgling) in mind, and according to an article yesterday by the Associated Press, creator Phil Bourne launched the site as a niche alternative to YouTube, so as to improve the categorization and focus of the videos for the scientific community.
Like most video-sharing sites these days, the entire operation revolves around a Flash player that provides instant gratification. What's interesting here is that SciVee breaks it down into two categories--one for standalone videos, and another for what it calls a "pubcast" which lets you link up the video to a related research paper. Viewers can watch the video in the left hand corner of the screen while the paper scrolls to match what topic the narrator is talking about. There's also a simple table of contents on the left, which lets you jump to the video and text portion at the same time.
To supplement the video and text portion of a pubcast, SciVee content creators can upload any related visual aids, along with links to the original work. There's also a place for references, and user-created tags. It ends up being a simple and effective way to cram a lot of content into a very small, but manageable amount of space.
While the pubcasts are a handy feature for publishers to get their work out into yet another channel, what's immediately more fulfilling to the casual user are the how-to videos, which are few and far between. To that end, the site doesn't do nearly as good a job at categorizing content as other popular sharing sites, with no real concrete separation beyond a search tool and user-generated tagging. I still think the pubcast is a really neat way to present a scientific concept, and offers users a chance to read, or watch science with some useful resources at their disposal--which is often more than you can say about YouTube. I'm still waiting for a research paper/video on Diet Coke and Mentos.