With their latest attempt to provide an online experience for dance built, so very obviously, by committee we have Chisenhale Dance Space, East London Dance, Greenwich Dance Agency and Laban getting egg all over their collective face with danceuploaded.tv.
The usual suspects are all in evidence. You can upload video, you can embed video, you can comment on video, you can rate video or you can fall off your chair and slip into a coma (the preferable option).
We can't really tell but the site looks like it's built from a, so-called, "white label" social networking platform like Ning or ........ one of the other ones. If it was custom built then it was money wasted.
Dance Uploaded (DU) suffers from three key problems that all niche social networking sites fall victim to.
1. It's unnecessary. Vimeo.com, and other video sharing websites, allow you to build small communities within their framework that look and feel a whole lot better than DU. The video quality is better, the community options are better, everything is better because they are built by professionals with skills in interface design, typography and aesthetics.
2. It looks like crap. Big cut out graphics, dancing grannies, London buses, garish colours. The whole site looks like a mock up for the opening credits of Grange Hill, circa 1985. It's patronising, it's pathetic and it's embarrassing!
3. The videos are terrible. Whatever they looked like before they were uploaded the compression has not served them well. If you start with low expectations then pass the captured video through four layers of mud what you get coming out the other side is the video material on DU.
Not too surprising in all this mess to see ACE's logo lurking in the corner. So desperate is the funding behemoth to pour money into "new media" they'll sign a cheque for anything with enough logos/backers/partners that goes on the internet with the aim of getting "young people" into dance.
We're not allowed to swear on Article19 so all we say to that is FORK OFF and something else about Cupid doing dangerous activities for movie stars!
Whomever is responsible for setting this thing up would do better, next time, to spend the money on teaching people to shoot and edit, making a few top notch videos in the process and showcasing them on a platform that doesn't look like it was put together by a five year old in the midst of a crayon frenzy!
One final thing. If you upload a video you have a chance of winning some kind of prize! Lord only knows what that will be!