Xplore Videos: View What Interests You!
Xplore Videos: View What Interests You!
Our websites make it easy to find content you care about and share your passions with people who love them just as much as you do.
Our websites make it easy to find content you care about and share your passions with people who love them just as much as you do. Read more
About this project
Welcome to Xplore!
"THERE'S A WAY TO DO IT BETTER - FIND IT." ~ Thomas Edison
The problem that our network was designed to solve is simple - DISCOVERY OF VIDEO. With 500 HOURS of video being shared every single minute, the number of videos on the internet has grown to astronomical proportions.
The REAL KEY to finding information lies not in having the fastest search engine or most advanced algorithm on the planet, but in a way far more obvious and simple – BY TOPIC. By creating a network devoted to specific interests, we are able to DIRECTLY CONNECT users to the content they are looking for, simultaneously eliminating “noise” while solving discovery of not only videos, but ALL types of content.
In life we naturally gravitate to and have the most fun with others who share our interests. By creating websites where "birds of a feather can flock together," our goal is for you to spend more time doing and sharing what you love and less time searching. With all of the time you'll save, you'll have tons of time for NEW activities!
Our Amazing Websites
One visit to our websites and you'll see why they are so unique. If you've picked one that is a hobby of yours, you should find most of the content interesting without even searching. They're designed so that you can easily DISCOVER content that (1) you were specifically looking for or (2) you didn't even know was out there. You can:
- Share your videos
- Create a profile that people can follow
- Share photos on your profile or via our public galleries
- Like videos, photos, articles, etc.
- Browse cool new gear and products
- Add videos, photos, articles, etc. to the Favorites section of your profile with the click of your mouse
- Share the content on our sites across other social media platforms
We will be rolling out a ton of new features in the near future, including the Hall of Fame, the Xplorers' Club, Spotlight sections and much more!
The Xplore Network
"THE TECHNOLOGY YOU USE IMPRESSES NO ONE. THE EXPERIENCE YOU CREATE WITH IT IS EVERYTHING." ~ Sean Gerety
In addition to our parent company website, xplorevideos.com, we currently have 11 Xplore websites covering a broad spectrum of interests. The websites "mirror" each other in design and features not only as components of the parent Xplore brand, but to make the websites as easy to use as possible.
Please keep in mind that we're not a multi-billion dollar company like our huge competitors and our sites are still in progress, so the websites aren't "perfect." As we roll out new features, for example, bugs that weren't there before can pop up. Improving the sites even further is one of the reasons we're here asking for your help!
*CLICK ANY IMAGE BELOW TO CHECK OUT THAT WEBSITE!
Our #1 Request
Since we launched the Xplore sites last year, we've had incredible feedback from users all over the world including Australia, the UK, Sweden, Germany, the Netherlands, and of course, the USA. The question we are asked most frequently is "when will you have a mobile app???" In our case, because we weren't designed to be a stand-alone app where users share 10 or 30 second videos, it was necessary to begin by building the sites themselves. In other words, we had to start with the foundation, especially given that the way in which people used the sites would greatly impact how we designed our mobile app. Were some features more popular than others? Did certain features or functions need improved? Should we make a separate app for each site or make them all accessible from one? These were all questions that we could only answer by first building the sites and allowing people to use them. The feedback we've received over the last year, not only about our sites but what people dislike most about the massive changes to other sites, has been incredibly helpful and will enable us to create a mobile app with the design and features our users love most.
We already have fans from all over the world and we LOVE getting comments like these, so please keep sending them!
Why be a horse when you can be a unicorn?
In the tech world, a unicorn is a start-up company valued at more than a billion dollars. But since a real unicorn is a mythical animal (forgive the oxymoron) that’s unique and AWESOME, we decided it would be perfect as our mobile app design and, of course, our mascot (whom we named Roam). The spectrum colors of the mane and tail represent the various colors of our network – if you haven’t noticed, each of our websites has its own color. We have big plans for both our company and our unicorn –we’re going to integrate him into some of the features, especially on the travel sites, in really cool ways that our users will LOVE.
We have our app design ready to go...makes you want to be one of our beta testers, doesn’t it?
The "Secret" to Our Success
The real genius in our concept is actually our revenue model. Unlike the pay-per-click advertising and video ads employed by our competitors, we will be rolling out an amazing new platform for businesses to showcase their products and services in a seamless, NON-INTRUSIVE way. We'd love to tell you all about it, but given the highly competitive nature of this industry, we have to keep those features under wraps until we've unveiled them.
"IT'S JUST EXCITING TO BE PART OF SOMETHING THAT IS BRAND-NEW." ~ Brian McKnight
We're on Kickstarter because we would rather put our faith in you, the user, than traditional venture capitalists. Like most startup companies, we need capital to grow and tech companies like ours typically secure funding from venture capitalists, especially as they start to take off. We could definitely go the VC route, however we are committed to staying true to the goal with which we started the company, which is to create the best possible online experience for our users. Venture capitalists want a company they invest in to be incredibly successful, but their priority is to make as much money as possible as quickly as possible. This makes sense, of course, but when financial considerations are put above all else a company can sometimes suffer rather than succeed. One only need remember that Steve Jobs was once fired from Apple.
Because our goal is to make sure that we can put the interests of our users first, Kickstarter seemed the perfect route for us, providing the opportunity to raise the capital we need while showcasing the company to the very people who would be most likely to use our sites - cool, interesting people!
Use of Funds
Given that we've successfully gotten our company this far, you can be assured that your contribution won't be wasted and that we WILL achieve our stated goals. If we could accomplish everything we need for less money, we would have asked for less, but we need the full $400k.
- A native mobile app
- Improving our existing network of sites
- Fantastic new features including the Hall of Fame, Business Profiles, the Xplorers Club, Spotlight sections, forums, new and improved channels, etc!
- Expanding our network, i.e. launching additional sites
- Enlarging our team
Given the wide variety of hobbies and interests to choose from, we've only just begun to grow our network. By contributing to our project at the $25 level, you'll get to help us choose (by voting) which 3 websites we'll launch next when we hit our goal. Choices will include xplorecruises.com, xploretours.com, xploretraveling.com, xplorecollecting.com, xplorefashion.com, xploreoff-roading.com, xplorecrafts.com, and several music specific sites.
While the websites themselves are virtually identical, they are also like separate little worlds, giving us tremendous flexibility in tailoring each one to meet the unique needs of specific demographics. The cancer site, for example, will have more large strategic partners like cancer hospitals but less e-commerce, while sites like xplorefashion.com will focus heavily on e-commerce. One of my personal peeves about the internet is when I see something I like, I want to be able to actually BUY IT. The music and travel sites, in particular, will have some incredibly cool features that will set us apart from the competition.
Our company has grown to the point that hiring additional employees is essential! With a dozen websites already we have our hands full - adding additional sites will be like having more children. To manage them effectively, we simply need more help.
Our Commitment to Cancer Awareness
You may have noticed that one of our Xplore sites is devoted to cancer. This obviously is not an interest, hobby, or passion, but then not all things in life are fun. Some are, however, extremely important, and we are passionately committed to raising cancer awareness and cancer prevention. Xplorecancer.com is designed to be one central "hub" for all types of content (primarily videos, of course) for ALL TYPES of cancer. Not only are the videos categorized by every type of cancer and therefore easy to find, the site is designed to feature information that's so important to cancer patients and their families. Specifically, on xplorecancer.com you'll find featured hospitals, nurses, oncologists, new clinical research, etc. You can also browse a ton of relevant, informative articles and find great products / gifts for cancer patients that you didn't even know where out there. This site in particular truly represents our concept and how it organizes vital information so cancer patients and their families won't have to search and visit 100 different sites (we know, because we've done it) but instead have one fantastic resource at their fingertips.
Having a site devoted to cancer is just the beginning. In terms of cancer awareness and prevention, the website has one "flaw" - people using that site already have cancer or they have a family member or friend who does. We need to reach the people who HAVEN'T YET been diagnosed as early detection is absolutely critical and one major key to this is improving awareness about the warning signs. We have a unique method of accomplishing this that is actually a result of the way our network is designed. On our sites, user engagement is naturally higher because all of the content should interest the person using that site. By featuring stories on our home page that fall within that given area of interest, users are far more likely to want to read the information and donate money to particular causes. Xplorefishing.com, for example, featured a story about an amazing retreat in Australia where women with cancer could go and learn to fly fish. THIS IS RELEVANT TO PEOPLE WHO LOVE FISHING. We do the same on all of our sites and we not only feature the stories, we promote them. By presenting cancer to people in a way that's most relatable to them, we hope to create a more effective way to raise awareness.
Meet the Founder
"IF YOU WANT TO SUCCEED YOU SHOULD STRIKE OUT ON NEW PATHS, RATHER THAN TRAVEL THE WORN PATHS OF ACCEPTED SUCCESS." ~ John D. Rockefeller, founder of the Standard Oil Company
Hi! I'm Miranda Taylor, the founder and CEO of Xplore Videos. I'm a small-town girl from a VERY rural town in West Virginia and I currently live near Pittsburgh, PA. The daughter of a coal miner and a school teacher, I was raised to believe that I could achieve anything if I worked hard enough. When I founded Xplore, my goal was simple - to take something good (video sharing) and make it better. Not just better - AMAZING.
This is by far, the most difficult endeavor I've ever undertaken, but all of the hard work and sleepless nights have been worth it to be able to see what was nothing more than an idea become reality and grow into the company I have now. More importantly, it's enabled me to meet the most amazing people from all over the world!
Whether you simply took the time to read this far and / or actually contribute to our project, you have my most sincere thanks! I'm asking for your help because I want you to take this journey with me, to be part of something that I hope will change if not the world, at least the internet, for the better.
Full List & Details about our Rewards
1. Your name and / or photo on our Backers page on all of the Xplore Sites.
Your named will be included on the Backers page in the About Us section on ALL of our sites so everyone will know that EVERY backer is important to us!
2. Go behind-the-scenes with the Xplore team!
We will be filming a video series that gives you an up close and personal behind-the-scenes look into what it takes get a startup off the ground. Miranda will share things like why we went through 5 development firms, why even the most iron-clad contracts can sometimes be worthless, how to protect yourself against being fired from your own company and even how she conquered her insomnia. You'll get a real B.T.S look at the time, effort, commitment and money it takes to do something like this and we'll give you a spoiler - it's nothing like the movie The Social Network! It IS very exciting, however, and you'll get to follow our progress every step of the way. *Some videos will only be available to our Kickstarter backers!
3. Digital Wallpapers.
We LOVE spectacular videos and photos, especially of the outdoors, so you can choose one of our really cool wallpapers for your PC or phone so you have a daily reminder that you're now an important part of the story of our company.
4. Special "Backer" profile on any or all of our sites you choose!
We want everyone to know that you've helped to back us, so our backers will get a profile that's exclusive to our Kickstarter contributors - there will be no other way to have a profile like it. We have the design ready to go, but we want it to be a cool surprise for you.
5. Vote to choose what sites we'll launch next!
We are CONSTANTLY being asked when we're going to launch sites for certain interests! Though we have 11 websites already, there are countless more out there and (not surprisingly) everyone wants a site for THEIR favorite pastime - one of the more popular requests is for us to launch xplorebowling.com!
We have a dozen sites we'd like to roll out this year - if we hit our funding goal, we'll be able to launch 3 new ones. IF WE SURPASS OUR GOAL, we can launch even more! Either way, YOU'LL literally be the ones to choose which sites we launch next so you can vote for your favorite or even suggest one that's not on the list and we'll consider it.
6. Black Xplore logo lanyard
Much like us, you don't follow the well-worn path - you make your own. A lanyard is a must-have, then, as who wants to lose their keys in the middle of nowhere (again)! With our cool Xplore logo on it, you'll want to use this handy item every day!
7. Drawstring Bag
If you've contributed to our project then you're someone who is always doing something fun! So what could be better than a drawstring bag with our logo - you'll be able to show off your support and have something perfect for tossing in some sunblock, bug spray, sunglasses and a bottled water before heading out well, anywhere! Note: those are OUR don't-leave-home-without things!
8. Performance fabric short sleeve shirt with Xplore logo
For those of you who want to show your friends that you're part of one of the coolest new tech startups, you can proudly sport this performance Xplore shirt. Other people will be able to buy them online, but only Kickstarter backers (starting with the Thrill Seeker level and up) will get shirts that actually say BACKER on them! Note: Miranda is wearing one in the photo above.
9. Be the first to beta-test our mobile app
Whether you like one of our current sites, several of them, or even one of the sites we'll be launching, you'll get to be the first to try out our new mobile app. It will enable us to tie all of the sites together into one easily accessible place and make the platforms simpler to use from any mobile device. Once you've used the app, you'll be able to let us know what you think of it and make any suggestions regarding improvements to the design, features, or functionality. Your input will be invaluable to us and you'll get to be directly involved in the process. How cool is that?
10. Join us at our mobile app launch party!
The location is TBD, but we promise you it's going to be someplace REALLY FUN! There will be music, food, drinks, dancing, probably a beach, maybe some jet skis or ATVs, and the awesome Xplore Team, of course. There are so many amazing places to choose from that we haven't selected the location yet - we'll do that when the mobile app development is underway so we'll have a better idea of when we can set the date (i.e. the time of year is obviously a factor). Because we always do stuff with friends, you can even bring someone with you. There will be lots of video and photos taken so you'll be able to share what an awesome time you had (to make all of your friends envious, of course)!
Note: We will NOT be providing travel expenses to the event (i.e. transportation or accommodation costs), but everything at the party will be free.
11. PREMIERE Personal or Business Profile on 1 (one) or up to 3 (three) Xplore websites!
A Premiere Personal Profile is something that you can't even buy at the moment! We'll be creating a Featured Section on our home pages to display ONLY the videos of our Kickstarter backers who have chosen to support at one of these top levels. How often they "rotate" and appear will depend on how many backers choose this level and how many videos they upload, but each and every video will get equal display time on our home page. You can also include links to your other social media profiles in the video description to give you cross-platform promotion!
A Premiere Business Profile is one of the new features we'll be rolling out when we reach our funding goal. You will get a beautiful full page business profile where you can feature videos, photos, all of your company information, your staff, etc. In addition, we'll feature your products and / or services on the home page of one or more of our websites in a custom Featured Section. Like the personal profiles, how often they “rotate will depend on how many backers choose this level. The advantage for you is that we don't have to use tracking cookies or complex algorithms to pair companies with potential consumers - our websites do this naturally. Rather than use pay-per-click advertising and video overlay ads, we focus on content marketing so we want companies to share VIDEOS and articles - this is by far the best form of marketing. It's seamless and non-intrusive and your products and services will be seen by the perfect audience – the people who use and buy them.
PLEASE READ: For BOTH of these options, your videos (for Premiere Personal profiles) or your company's products and / or services (for Premiere Business profiles) MUST fit within the scope of the overall topic / “theme” of one of our websites. FOR EXAMPLE: If you wanted a Business profile on the fishing site, your company's products and services would have to in some way relate to fishing - boats, fishing charters, fishing artwork, a bait store, fly fishing lessons, clothing for fishing, etc. The same is true for the other 10 industries we have sites for. WE WILL NOT show videos or content not relevant to that site. It would defeat the whole purpose of our concept, for example, if we allowed a company that sells antiques furniture or pharmaceutical drugs to put Business Profiles on a site dedicated to fishing. Our sites are designed to STREAMLINE CONTENT, including products and services. This is perfect for both users who only want to see content they care about and companies seeking to reach their target demographics, but this only works if we adhere to it. The same is true for the Premiere Personal profiles - your videos are going to get prime real estate on our sites, but they must in some way relate to the overall interest of the site you choice. For example, if you love gaming, every gaming video you upload or share is going to be featured on our home page! A video that discusses how long the line was at the game store - acceptable. A video that discusses how long the line was at your favorite pizza place, on the other hand, will get flagged as non-related content and will be reviewed by our team and possibly removed. If you have additional questions about this, please ask and we'll answer them in the FAQ section.
*This Reward is limited to 3 or 6 months from the day you create your profile (depending on the level you choose to back us).
12. Personally handwritten note from Miranda, our CEO
This one is pretty self-explanatory. : ) EACH CARD will be written out separately - Miranda will not write one and photo copy it. The front of the card will be the photo of her and Roam, which she'll sign as well.
13. Plush Roam unicorn
Our cool unicorn is named Roam (for obvious reasons) and if you pledge at the Conqueror level, you'll get a custom made Roam to keep or to give as an awesome present (we aren't mass producing them). He's really cool and we take him lots of places with us - people ALWAYS ask us about him!
As a last note, if you love our concept and wish to inquire about possible job or investment opportunities or having you / your company featured on one of our websites, you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Risks and challenges
Our company isn't still in concept stage - we currently have a dozen live, fully developed Xplore websites and are seeking funding not to get our company started, but rather to help it grow.
In the tech industry, getting a fledgling company off the ground is the hardest part and over the past two years, we've encountered countless obstacles that we had to overcome including, but certainly not limited to, funding. One of our biggest achievements thus far is that when our company was still in concept stage, we were able to successfully secure startup funding from a state-funded group in PA, Ben Franklin Technology Partners. This was a HUGE accomplishment, as I (Miranda) prepared and pitched my proposal to their board by myself. Only later did I find out from a marketing firm that most companies seeking funding from BFTP hire other companies to help them prepare and pitch their proposals. This gentleman nearly fell out of his chair when I told him we'd received funding - he'd helped to prepare several companies and not only were they all turned down, he didn't personally know any company who'd been funded by them. In other words, it's NOT an easy thing to do.
The point? It's twofold:
(1) Even the most conservative investment group believes that our company is going to succeed and
(2) WE will do whatever it takes to prove them right.
Getting the company this far has taken an UNBELIEVABLE amount of time, effort, sacrifice, and, of course, capital. We've had to raise and personally put in a SIGNIFICANT amount of money to have the sites developed - in fact we've gone through 5 development firms. This is actually why I'm creating a video series that will document our progress going forward and talk about the challenges we've already gone through - hopefully I may be able to help others avoid some of the pitfalls I wasn't able to and explain how we overcame them.
To say that we've thought through all of the possible outcomes is an understatement - the only one that ISN'T on that list is failure. We'll have challenges ahead - every company does - but the worst of our growing pains is behind us. Just getting the sites themselves developed was a long and challenging process. It's very much like having a child, however - once they are finally able to walk, you move on to a new stage in their life and while being a parent is still a full-time job, at least most of the challenges that come with caring for a new baby and the sleepless nights are behind you. This simile may seem cliche, but it's incredibly true - I have two teenage children but this company is my "baby." As it happens, my real children were far less work! : )
In terms of the things we've promised our backers, there is virtually no risk - we have a top notch development firm lined up to build the mobile app, improve our existing sites, launch the new sites, etc. We simply need the capital. Because the sites themselves are complete - they just need some improvements - building the mobile app is now far easier because we know WHAT we need and how it needs to work. The most difficult thing, actually, will be finding great people to bring on to our team. There are tons of qualified people, of course, but we really want people who "get" our concept and believe in it as much as we do.
Like many entrepreneurs, the motivation behind our company truly is to "do something good." Explaining this to a venture capitalist, however, (at least most of them) is like asking a shark to stop swimming. It's people like us - people with interests and passions - who realize that some of the most valuable things can't expressed in a financial report. If we can help one cancer patient, help one small fishing charter increase their business, help someone learn how to keep their horse from shying, then we've already succeeded. By contributing to our project, you are taking this path with us and for that, we can't thank you enough.
Note: our behind-the-scenes video series will be documenting our progress, so users will be able to see things like the app in design, our clothing being made, Miranda actually handwriting the cards, etc., so our backers won't be kept in suspense - they'll actually be following our progress. It's actually pretty cool and exciting!
And as my daughter so aptly put it, it's not like our project comes with a side of worry and a large "this company many not even get off the ground fountain drink." This meal is already cooked and ready to go! :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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