Peter Kafka

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Frequency Finds $3 Million To Help You Find Cool Web Videos

Does the Web really need another service that helps you find Web videos?

Yes, say the investors in They’ve put together a $3 million Series A round for the site, which promises to deliver “your customized stream of web video from all over the internet, all in one place.”

Frequency is run by Blair Harrison, best known as the guy who built and sold it to Viacom in 2005 (you can still find iFilm’s bones if you poke around Spike TV’s site).

Harrison says funding for the round comes from his pocketbook, as well from Limelight Networks co-founder Mike Gordon, who’s now working as chief strategy officer for Frequency. Other angels include some early Limelight investors.

Web video search and discovery sites are a dime a dozen. But there seems to be demand for them, too: Clicker, for instance, recently sold to CBS for something in the $100 million range, and I’ve heard the site was getting interest from the likes of Microsoft and Google.

Harrison’s pitch is that his service will find you stuff based on interests you tell it about, as well as pulling in all the video your friends are posting on Facebook and Twitter. Eventually, he says, the service will have enough data about you to start suggesting videos you didn’t know you wanted to see.

Frequency is a Web-only proposition now, but Harrison is using some of the money to build apps for Apple’s iOS platform. And by the end of the year he hopes to have his service integrated into at least one smart TV platform.

Harrison says the site is already attracting close to 2 million monthly uniques, just 5 months after its formal launch in January.

I’ve played around with Frequency a bit, and I do like the notion of a dedicated spot for the videos my social network pals like to post. I’m not sure why Twitter, Facebook etc can’t do this themselves. But then again there’s lots of stuff those services could do but haven’t, so far.

Here’s a clip that’s made its way around the Web and into my Twitterstream, where Frequency found it: A 1983 Colecovision ad for “George Plimpton’s Video Falconry” (Psst. It’s fake.)

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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald