You’ve likely already seen it, but now that we’ve had some days to adjust and it’s rolled out to everyone, it’s worth noting that the new Vimeo is simply awesome. (It’s available to all, though you do have to opt in, which I recommend.) I don’t want to get carried away with fanboyism, but to me, Vimeo has become the content production, content distribution, and creative portfolio to beat – even as YouTube firmly entrenches itself as the “just go viral” platform for everybody else.

While some other rivals have stumbled around trying a new formula, Vimeo has waited patiently to release their update. The new version appears more usable than before, on a site that already won over users with design. (In fact, part of the reason I think Vimeo has become the main choice for artists and designers is that it’s the one site that really looks nice, that’s a pleasure to use visually.)

Also significant to VJs and visualists, there’s a more prominent Creative Commons section, which could be a great resource for people who want to remix content or mine materials for VJ sets without doing so in a way that violates someone else’s intellectual property.

New in this version:

  • More space for videos in the layout.
  • Keyboard shortcuts and other streamlining improve navigation.
  • Videos are generally more discoverable, and the “inbox”/”feed” business – while I’d be at a loss to actually explain how the taxonomy works, exactly – really does make it much easier to head to Vimeo for inspiration or casual, on the couch browsing.
  • “Following” simplifies the process of watching others’ content.
  • Multiple file upload.
  • More granular privacy controls.
  • Some “recent” and “related” features that bring the inter-connectedness of videos on YouTube – without quite so much crap and annoying, distracting interface business.

For people looking for content to remix and the like, advanced search and Creative Commons (pictured below) make things much easier. There are two ways to get at this: is a featured CC-licensed section.

Advanced Search (pictured, bottom) lets you specify various details to find content, including a search by specific, individual CC license. I’d love to see the visualist community sharing, willingly, the materials they want, though as always with live visuals and VJ sets, it raises the question of how to provide attribution. (One idea: posting full credits links each time you do a gig, which could help the larger community spread their content – particularly with so many VJs moonlighting as more conventional motion graphics artists and animators.)

That’s a topic for another time, but this gives us a practical way to get started.

Also, while it’s still not out, I’m intrigued by the idea of a Music Store for music licensing, promised soon.

More on the new Vimeo:
Staff Blog / Say Hello to the New Vimeo