Unlike text or images, which can be easily searched, searching video is not that simple because search engines don’t “see” video images. Instead, the crawlers essentially find words like “skate boarding” or “Katrina” that producers put around their content when they upload it to YouTube, Google, etc. This is called “metadata.”

Lots of video is found “virally,” through word of mouth. Others are found in “context” – meaning you search for video and stumble across another video in the same context, or find a video through a community rating and reviews system and videos bubble up to the top of lists.

Thing is, it’s all sort of decentralized with YouTube and Google Video searching for video on their own platforms, but not across the Web.

Earlier this month, however, AOL announced a new video search engine to “find all the uploaded video” on the Web. We spoke with AOL’s Fred McIntyre about the new portal a couple of weeks ago.

To make sense of all this and to see where online video search might be going, we visited the Cambridge, Mass offices of Forrester Research where we met online video analyst Brian Haven. Brian lays it all out for us.

— Andy Plesser

Coming Clean: Forrester Research is a former client of Plesser Holland, publisher of Beet.TV

MySpace Cinema? We read with interest this morning about the plans for MySpace to sell video download of films distributed by News Corp, the corporate owner of MySpace. We wonder if the commercialization of MySpace will spoil the party? A couple of months ago we asked Ken Auletta, author and media reporter for The New Yorker, this very question.

Google Makes Nice to the Media:
Excellent article by Kevin Delaney of the Wall Street Journal about how Google is working more closely with media companies in doing content deals. (Subscription)

Katrina Stories On YouTube: Incredible collection of consumer generated videos on YouTube. We understand that there are at least 900 separate video uploads relating to Hurricane Katrina.

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