I really like the look of the new Zoopy site.  The Zoopy people have done a great job and the list of improvements is pretty long.  I haven’t really been using Zoopy because I haven’t been able to upload videos from my Mac.  This new version promises cross-browser and cross-platform functionality so I thought I would try an upload and see if it works. 

Before I got to that, I decided to start afresh and create a new account for myself.  My old account is under a defunct username (I have been using "pauljacobson" as my primary username – I am a little OCD about this at the moment … my wife will understand), my profile doesn’t list my name and I can’t make changes to those fields.  I also didn’t see a link to delete the old account (I am curious why not: oversight or intentional?).

Anyway, so I filled out the form to create my new account and when it came to the options completing the registration process I was confronted with an option to receive news and updates.  I usually don’t select this option because I have enough spam as it is.  When I didn’t select this option and tried to complete my registration process I got this response:

I don’t like that this is a required option at all.  If I don’t want to receive the email updates then don’t force me to receive them.  I subscribe to the blog so surely I will pick up on anything major there?  I also thought I would take a look at the privacy policy and terms of use and when I clicked on those links I found blank pages.  I played around with the url a little bit and removed the "v2" from it and still nothing.  This is not good for a couple reasons.  Firstly the company itself hasn’t done the bare minimum to protect itself and inform users what will be done with their information.  Draft privacy legislation requires that users be told exactly what will be done with which information and this information isn’t in place either.  Secondly, users don’t know what they are getting themselves into.  It is one thing to advocate reading these notices and knowing what you are giving away and another thing entirely to agree to a blank page.  It is a bit like signing a blank cheque and handing it outUpdate: The Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy are up on the site now.

Anyhoo, I went against the advice I usually give and agreed to the spam and to the non-existent terms of use and privacy policy (can’t resist the Zoopy!) and the system refused to create my new account because my email address is already in use.  Great, so I can’t change my username and add my first and last name to my profile, can’t delete my old account to make way for a new one and can’t create a new account because it uses the same email address.  So much for that idea.

Ok, so I logged back into my (old) account and uploaded a small video I have in my home movies folder.  This was actually my second attempt at an upload this morning.  The first video was just over 10MB and the upload stopped halfway for some reason.  I also couldn’t get any info on video file requirements by clicking on the link either so I thought I would try a smaller 2MB .avi file.  The upload seemed to be going well and I was told it would be converted shortly.  When I took a look at My Videos I didn’t see any indication it was there or in progress.  I remain hopeful.

The blog post announcing the update said users could add their own AdSense code.  Nice!  I added my code and ran into a small snag when I couldn’t click on the "Save all changes" button.  I also couldn’t tab down to the button and select the option that way.  Love the AdSense integration but not my inability to implement it.  At this point you might be screaming at me to just use Firefox but I want to test this cross-browser/platform thing.  Anyway, so that didn’t work out so well either.

Another thing I like about the update is the ability to select a Creative Commons license for content uploaded to the site.  I am not too sure where I can do this.  The upload form didn’t seem to have the option available and when I took a look at a video I uploaded a while ago I don’t see an option there either.  What am I missing?

Looking at the Zoopy profile page it is clear these guys want to own the social space.  There is space for you to add your photos, videos, podcasts, blog posts and more.  Personally I don’t see the benefit of having to create a new blog on this site although I do see the benefit of this profile page for those people who have all their content here.  It gives them an iGoogle like home page.  I would much rather see my Zoopy profile become a sort of life stream page where I can plug in my blog feed and possibly even my Flickr and video feeds although I don’t see that sort of integration happening.

Another feature I do like (and this could be the thing that actually gets me to use Zoopy) is the integration with my Nokia Nseries phone.  You may be familiar with the config files that enable your phone to integrate with services like Flickr and Vox?  Well, Zoopy has a config file so you can upload your content directly to Zoopy using the "web upload" option in your phone’s gallery.  Very nice one guys.  I will try this out when I get a chance.

I would love to see even more services open up to mobile devices.  I find myself using my phone to do more stuff on the go like blogging to my Vox blog (for personal stuff – haven’t worked out how to post to this blog yet), uploading photos to Flickr, using Twitter and Jaiku and more.  I am sure we will see mobile devices become a lot more powerful and the distinction between laptops and mobile devices will start to fade but until then, this sort of integration is a great idea.

Thankfully I was able to successfully submit a bug report (the button worked on that page).

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