AskDefine | Define blip

Dictionary Definition



1 a sudden minor shock or meaningless interruption; "the market had one bad blip today"; "you can't react to the day-to-day blips"; "renewed jitters in the wake of a blip in retail sales"
2 a radar echo displayed so as to show the position of a reflecting surface [syn: pip, radar target] [also: blipping, blipped]

User Contributed Dictionary






  1. A small dot registered on electronic equipment, such as a radar or oscilloscope screen.
    • 1985: Frederick Forsyth, The Fourth Protocol
      When the blip began to move up the oscilloscope screen, they followed again.
    • 2004: Asaf Degani, Taming HAL: Designing Interfaces Beyond 2001
      At 6:45 pm, the chief officer saw a blip on the radar, approximately seven nautical miles away.
  2. A short sound of a single pitch, usually electronically generated.
    • 2000: Ken Norton, Ken Norton
      Blip..Blip..Blip..Blip  There was that annoying noise again.
    • 2002: Richard Strozzi-Heckler, In Search of the Warrior Spirit: Teaching Awareness Disciplines to the Green Berets
      The little “blip” sound that happens when a balloon is shot down becomes a duet with the player. “Blip” “Damn!” “Blip” “Damn!”
  3. In the context of "after definition 1": A brief aberration or deviation from what is expected or normal.
    • 2003: Brett Grodeck, The First Year - HIV: An Essential Guide for the Newly Diagnosed
      There's a chance this is just a viral blip, an intermittent spike of low-level virus that just happens in people on successful HIV treatment.
    • 2003: Dany Spencer Adams, Lab Math: A Handbook of Measurements, Calculations, and Other Quantitative Skills for Use at the Bench
      As a cell moves through the aperture it causes a blip (a brief change) in the voltage when the nonconductive cell briefly displaces the conductive medium.


*Spanish: parpadeo


  1. To skip over or ignore (with out).
    • 1990: Hearing Before the Special Committee on Aging, United States Senate, Defining the Frontier: A Policy Challenge
      If we look, for example, at Laramie County, with a population density of 26.8 per square mile, if you blipped out Cheyenne, Laramie County would change significantly.
    • 1996: John Dunning, The Bookman's Wake
      He listened but his mind heard only words and blipped out meanings.
  2. To change state abruptly, such as between off and on or dark and light, sometimes implying motion.
    • 2003: Dennis Lehane, Mystic River
      And yet, they pulsed and glowed and shimmied and flared and stared at you, just like now—staring in at his and Whitey's own lights as they blipped past on the expressway....
    • 2005: Craig Lansford, Tales from Salome: Broken Angel
      The screen blipped out as the connection was terminated.... A few seconds passed before the screen again blipped to life.

Extensive Definition is a video sharing service designed for creators of user-generated content. provides content creators with free hosting, support for a variety of video formats, distribution using technologies like RSS and an opt-in advertising program with a 50/50 revenue share. focuses on "episodic content" or "shows," rather than viral video.
In addition to its public services at, the company also offers private label technology solutions for traditional media companies who want to integrate user-generated content into their existing platforms. Customers include Turner Broadcasting and Conde Nast .

History was founded in May of 2005 by Mike Hudack (CEO), Dina Kaplan (COO), Justin Day (CTO), Jared Klett and Charles Hope. The unusually large group of founders had been working together building knowledge-management software when they joined the Yahoo! Videoblogging Group and found that hundreds of videobloggers were creating high-quality independent video content for Web distribution. In the team's opinion existing software and services didn't meet videobloggers needs. They launched the first version of the following week, based on their existing knowledge management software .
The founders "bootstrapped" the company for the first six months of its operation, working on the project part-time on nights and weekends. The company formally announced it had received angel funding in July of 2006 but did not reveal its investors or the amount of its funding . In statements on mailing lists and in their blog, however, the company had made it clear prior to July of 2006 that they had been funded.
Shortly after announcing its funding, announced that CNN had licensed its platform to power user-generated content ingest and management for CNN iReport, the cable network's citizen journalism initiative . The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The company now maintains offices in New York City's SoHo neighborhood. It appears to be operating on angel financing alone, at least insomuch as it has not announced a venture capital fundraising round, unlike most or all of its competitors. "We have been very carefully growing the business and hiring as we make money," says Hudack .

Philosophy has grown out of the "videoblogging community" and concentrates its sales, marketing and technology efforts on serving this community. The founders have often talked about how they focus on content creators making "serialized content" or "shows" rather than "viral video" or "friends and family" video. "The formula purposefully does not emulate the YouTube viral video sharing and friends and family video hosting model," ZDNet blogger Donna Bogatin recently wrote .

User control

Bogatin's article also focuses on other aspects of's philosophy, including's ideal of placing video content creators "in control at all times." This leads to a sometimes dizzying array of options and controls in's user "dashboard," including esoteric preferences regarding video formats such as Ogg.'s distribution options, advertising options and video format choices are all subject to user control. In an interesting break from this philosophy, however, does not allow users to choose whether to make a video public or not -- all videos are immediately and widely publicly viewable.
The company tends to spin this as being about "individual empowerment," both in terms of user control over their actual media and in the sense that's users are "doing an end run around the [broadcast] networks."

Copyright policy's terms of service state that uploaders to the service retain all copyrights of their videos. By uploading the videos, the creator gives a revocable right to host and distribute the video on the user's behalf, but that right can be revoked by the content creator by deleting the video from the service. That said, the video remains on's servers after deletion (but unavailable to the outside world). Users must e-mail support to request complete video removal.
In addition to the base license users give to by uploading their work, users can also choose from a number of Creative Commons licenses to apply to their videos. Creative Commons search uses for its video search platform.

Downloading videos

In general, is an open platform. It offers direct download links for all videos it hosts, including videos that it has transcoded (i.e. Flash videos). This led Creative Commons founder Larry Lessig to call a "true sharing site" (along with Flickr and Eyespot, among others) in contrast to YouTube's "fake sharing site" because "explicitly offers links to download various formats of the videos it shares."
In addition to offering direct downloads of videos from its Web interface, also offers RSS feeds which include "enclosures" for all video formats. The Web site supports a number of open metadata standards, including microformats, RSS, Atom and JSON.
In particular, it's notable that doesn't "lock down" uploaded content and prevent it from being reshared on other Web sites without attribution to the hosting service. The Flash player does not include a logo, and the Flash video content can be easily and seamlessly separated from the Flash player without the use of special software.
In May of 2006 Fernando Cassia of The Inquirer "called out" in an e-mail accusing the company of talking about open media without actually supporting it because "you encode your videos in proprietary, closed formats like Windows Media, Quicktime or Flash." Cassia challenged blip to use Ogg Theora, a "free as in free beer, open source as in freedom, and patent-free [video] codec."
Twenty-four hours later Justin Day responded by saying "You've called us out, and we have responded. While most of our friends and neighbors were enjoying the sunny extended weekend, we spent it indoors making sure we live up to our credo. We will be releasing Ogg Theora support on tomorrow, using the Cortado Java applet player." Several shows now upload in Ogg Theora format, including Geek Entertainment TV.

Community has been a consistent patron of the videoblogging community. The staff regularly participates in the Yahoo! Videoblogging Group and the company has consistently been the first sponsor signed up for significant community events like Vloggercon and the Vloggies.

Features is designed for prosumer video producers, particularly those creating "episodic content." It therefore offers many options, sometimes in an overwhelming manner.

Uploading and video formats

Uploads may be made via a Web interface, FTP, from a mobile phone (through an e-mail address), a client-side batch uploader (Java, with versions available for Mac OS X and Windows) and through a version of the Internet Archive advance contribution interface. Uploads can be audio or video files in formats including Quicktime, MPEG, 3gp, DivX, Real Media, WMV, mp3 or Ogg. Uploads through the Web interface can include multiple versions of the same video, i.e. in Quicktime, WMV and 3gp versions.
The FAQ states that recommended maximum file size is 150mb, though there are no hard limits; in practice accepts uploads up to 1 gigabyte. Transcodes of larger video files may fail, leaving only the user-uploaded version viewable.
Uploaded files are made available on and [username] immediately, and a transcoded Flash video version is made available five to fifteen minutes later. Users can choose whether to display the transcoded Flash version by default, or their original video version.

Distribution makes all uploaded video files available on its destination site and on a video blog it creates for all users, found at [username] Videos are available for viewing immediately after uploading in both of these interfaces. also offers copy and paste HTML for placing videos on other Web sites, a feature it calls "cross-posting" to automatically syndicate videos to other Web sites, and RSS feeds for the syndication of user videos to aggregators.
Videos uploaded to can be automatically syndicated to AOL Video, MSN Video and, Dabble, Mefeedia, FireANT, iTunes and other platforms.

Copy & paste HTML

After uploading, users are presented with HTML code that can be copy and pasted into any Web site, including blogging systems. There are four or more presentation options for the copy & pasted video, including an "inline player" (similar to other video services), a "thumbnail flipper" (which displays a thumbnail which, when clicked, turns into a video player) and a "pop-up player" (which displays a thumbnail which, when clicked, opens a pop-up window with the video playing within it.
Users of the copy & paste HTML can choose a "preferred video format" to display. If that preferred video format is not available, will fall back to what it considers the "next best" format for display. Users can, for example, copy and paste a video into their Web site before Flash video transcoding is completed but indicate that Flash video is their "preferred format." Under this scenario another version of the video will be displayed (QuickTime, for example) until the Flash transcoded version is available. At that time the Flash version will be presented to viewers.

Cross-posting uses publicly published APIs to automatically publish videos to a number of systems, including blogging platforms like Movable Type, WordPress and Blogger. Users can set up cross-posting in their preferences by sharing information about the platform they want to publish to, like the username and password they use to login to the platform. From that point, the Web-based upload form and the client-side batch uploader present checkboxes as part of the interface to publish the uploaded video to those destinations. Once the video is uploaded, software runs in the background to publish the video to the destinations.
Supported destinations include:

Cross-uploading can automatically upload videos to the Internet Archive for users who have both accounts and Internet Archive accounts. The premise behind this feature is that it allows users to feel safe that their video will be available for the long-term, even if's servers experience problems or the company goes out of business.
Cross-uploading works in much the same manner as cross-posting, but can be somewhat unreliable because of software communication issues with the Archive. The Internet Archive recently created a collection dedicated to videos cross-uploaded through

RSS and web feeds offers every user RSS feeds of their videos. The RSS feeds include enclosures to allow software programs like iTunes to automatically download and play the videos.'s RSS feeds also use Media RSS to include information about other versions of the video, including the Flash version.

Distribution partnerships has partnered with Akimbo to offer "top" shows on Akimbo set-top boxes

Advertising allows users to opt into its advertising program, which is divided into two strata. For "high-end" content producers (as arbitrarily determined by the company will sell sponsorships in cooperation with the content producer. These sponsorships may include product endorsement, host statements or product placement.
For all other content producers, offers an "advertising marketplace" which allows users to opt into specific advertising formats and advertising partners. Options include post-roll and player-adjacent advertisements.
All revenue from advertising is split 50/50 between content producers and Users can opt in and out of advertisements at any time.

Notable content on

Prominent shows on include Amanda Congdon's Amanda Across America (the former host of Rocketboom), Goodnight Burbank, Break a Leg, Governor Tom Vilsack and A Story of Healing. Users include Jeff Jarvis, Marc Canter and Dave Winer.

Regulatory Status in Mainland China

As of July 29, 2007, was blocked by the Chinese Government and is unavailable to Chinese mainland users.


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