Services & Software

Pikspot launches, joins media mashup fray

Pikspot is a new multimedia social network. Why should you care? It's got some neat ways to help you make your own programming channels.

Pikspot is a new social network for groups to upload and share media. Each group can create its own themed page and add various pieces of content such as audio, video clips, and images. It's not a P2P network per se, consider it a media-hosting site like SplashCast with extended group features. Will it be the next big thing in media distribution? I'm not so sure about that, but it is launching with a lineup of content from several TechTV notables who have formed a channel called UndoTV. For any Webware readers who have watched CNET TV's new call-in help show CNET Live, this might be right up your alley.

Adding media to Pikspot channels is fairly simple. There's a batch uploader for photos and plenty of options to tag and credit content. Channel owners can also opt to let subscribers (registered users who have added the channel to their subscription list) add their own content. To sort through it all, there's a simple search. You're also able to browse through tagged content in a cloud, which is pretty neat looking.

One of Pikspot's branded pages. Channel owners can easily customize the look and feel of their interface using templates or using the design editor. CNET Networks

Any Pikspot channel or piece of content can be embedded off-site on blogs or social networks. Like some of the embeds we've seen recently with SplashCast and (hands-on), Pikspot lets users browse through the channel's entire content catalog and interact with other community members via comments without leaving the embedded player.

To customize a Pikspot channel, owners can select from a large selection of templates, or make their own using a fairly full-featured editor that gives complete control over the color scheme and branding. Any site still retains a small banner at the top of the page to bring you back to Pikspot, like you get on Blogger, Ning, and other networks.

The Pikspot experience is fairly slick, but I do have my nits to pick, mainly the upload speed for adding media to the service, which I found to be really slow. I'd like to see the inclusion of a live chat for each channel, as I had a lot of fun with this feature using recently. That being said, the commenting system is really simple and includes a Digg-like way to vote on which comments are (and aren't) worth reading.

I'm very interested to see which other content providers stick their work on Pikspot. Since anyone can upload content, we're bound to see some copyrighted items on there. If it's anything like Joost, with the right people in charge, we'll see more partnerships and content provider-sponsored channels fairly soon.

I've embedded a Pikspot player below.