If you’re a big fan of Digg.com, I’m sure you remember seeing an article hit the front page about 2-3 weeks ago titled The Most Trippy and Hypnotic Thing You Will See Today. It linked to a video of many split-screen Alice in Wonderland clips playing over some neat background music, and really was the most trippy thing I’d seen! After this first discovery, tons of videos from Yooouuutuuube.com started popping up everywhere.
The service has spread like wildfire in the short time it’s been noticed, and even ended up with a story on Mashable.com entitled “Yooouuutuuube Puts YouTube on LSD”. Quite a fitting name for such a great website. And thus, I have contacted the site’s creator, David Kraftsow, and he agreed to to an interview for Inside the Webb! And so, I bring you behind the scenes for a deeper understanding of this amazingly trippy and brilliant site.
What was the main focus behind Yooouuutuuube, and how was it created?
The site basically resulted as a series of experiments reading from YouTube and displaying video in interesting ways with Flash. It was written in Actionscript and PHP using Eclipse with FDT and Aptana.
How was it decided to come up with the funky name and domain name?
I didn’t really put a lot of thought into the name… It just seemed like the right fit for the functionality of the site.
How many people went into programming this site, and how long was the development process?
The site was written by just me over the course of three weeks whenever I had some spare time to devote to it.
Your site had recently hit the front page of Digg for an Alice in Wonderland video, which became very popular around the net. Did you see a large increase in traffic from this posting, or just an increase in general?
Digg and Reddit sent a huge amount of traffic in a couple of spikes. This lead to a big increase in overall traffic from everywhere else. Facebook has actually referred the most traffic so far and twitter has sent a lot as well.
As I’m sure everyone wants to know, how does the site actually work in the backend?
The site’s back end has changed a few times since it went live. At core, however, it functions in the exact same way as a YouTube video-saving site. Essentially it’s finding the FLV (video) location and then passing that to the flash. There are a few tricks involved in getting it all to work on both the front and back ends. For example, to actually split the video into its constituent frames, I had to figure out a way to get around the Adobe security measures (which are actually pretty lax) that prevent Flash from drawing pixel data from an unauthorized domain.
Can you give us your top 5 list of favorite videos from the site?
Hm I don’t really consider this a Top 5 list but here’s a few videos I really like:
Are there any future plans to improve or add onto the site with new features?
Yes I will be launching a small update with a few new features on the 28th (hopefully).
Do you have any plans of putting advertisements on the site, or in some way monetizing Yooouuutuuube.com?
I have no plans at all to make any money off the project. However I would consider putting a text link on the root to anyone that would provide me free fast hosting with a really good uptime guarantee.
What is your favorite website, social network, or web app and why?
Probably Delicious. It’s one of the only social networks I use and it’s a really fantastic source of high-quality Internet.
If you had any advice for someone starting their own web app, what would it be?
Ha um… how about: Make a website that displays YouTube videos in a tiled grid and give it a name that makes you sound ridiculous when you try to pronounce it out loud. Or make the next Facebook or something.
P.S.: I made my own video, which you can watch here!