Strutta: Video Competitions, But for What

Looking for a place to show off your homemade music video or a your best bike trick? A place that isn’t YouTube or Facebook? Or an existing competitive social network like iBeatYou (our coverage)? Well, we have just the thing: Strutta, launching in beta on Tuesday (click on the thumbnail for a screenshot).

Nine-month-old Strutta, which is based in Vancouver, has raised $1.2 million from GrowthWorks, Telefilm Canada, and angels. In an interview last week, Strutta CEO Danny Robinson described a community of users representing their countries in various events, culminating in a year-end finale for which they receive a virtual trophy. “It’s just like winning a medal in the Olympics,” he said. Well, kinda. Except not really.

The most promising thing Robinson told me was that he’d like to make Strutta a sort of ARG (alternate reality game). Incentives and addictiveness and peer pressure are going to be what this is all about, if it works.

Without a community to speak of, Strutta has to hope for serendipity, or make it happen. iBeatYou and DanceJam have the celebrity factor of Baron Davis, Jessica Alba, and MC Hammer; other sites will get you a meeting with someone in Hollywood or an appearance on TV. And what does Strutta offer? A trophy, embeddable on all your social networks and your blog. It’s kind of like Ze Frank’s Color Wars, but without the built-in passionate participation he inspires.

To be fair, Strutta, which has 10 employees, is not even available to the public as of this writing, and Robinson promises innovation on the awards and (eventually) monetization fronts. Strutta will also have to improve its somewhat confusing voting system.

Robinson previously founded companies like Spinway, the former ISP, and Peerflix, the DVD trading company that’s now trying to transform itself into a vertical ad network. He told us the idea for Strutta evolved from a brainstorming session where he envisioned bringing Judge Judy disputes online and betting on them. But that wasn’t the right fit for a global audience, so he decided to go with general video competitions instead.