Smart Bids: Enabling Connection to the Power of Human Creativity

Posted by James Kupernik on Nov 25, 2015 11:53:00 AM


Here at VidMob we truly believe in the power of human creativity and, as we continue to build our product, we stay focused on our mission of connecting content generators with the creative vision of our VidMob editors in order to create amazing videos.

Today, we expect everything in an instant, and this is especially true on mobile. As we thought about our platform, our editors, the app, and our consumers—bundled with that fact that creativity doesn’t happen in an instant—we knew that we had find a way to give users instant access to editors as soon they were ready. We also had to figure out how to balance that with the expectations of our editors who know that creating something magical takes time and has a monetary value to it. That is how VidMob Smart Bids was born (or as the editors know it, auto-bids).

VidMob Smart Bids help us bridge that gap between instant results and the power of human creativity. The “algorithm” (scary word) or system that we developed and will continue to improve upon, is meant to connect a user’s project to an editor who will find the work both creatively and financially rewarding.

How Do We Do This?

The Match Up!
When you’ve configured the fields of an auto-bid, you are telling us exactly what size project that bid should apply for and the price that it is worth to you. So the very first thing we do is find all bids that match the project size. This is based on three factors: the total media submitted by the user (both length and total files), the length of time for the editor to complete the project, and the project’s category.

The Weigh-In!
Like any good competition, we weight the bids across many different factors. It all starts with the editor’s profile. We believe that editors who embrace the VidMob platform and take the time to highlight their skills and creative preferences will be the most rewarded by our Smart Bidding system. Before we even look at bid price when selecting results that a user will see, we look first at the relevant content an editor has within their profile and auto-bid. Do they have portfolio items that are relevant to the category that the project is in? Have they published them to MobFeed? What are their project preferences? Have they provided an engaging bio and notes with their bids? If they’ve worked on projects in the past, how responsive were they to users through our messaging system and turn around of drafts for review? What is their rating as an editor? What is their rating for past projects in this category? Etc. We take all these factors (and more) into account when selecting the bid results a user sees.

We believe all editors should have an equal opportunity to find a job through the VidMob marketplace. So, in addition to the above factors, we also look at the amount of active jobs that an editor currently has. Editors that have jobs in progress might not show up before editors that currently are not working on any project. We want to be fair, after all!

Fair Market Value
After all that, then we finally take price into consideration. We look at all bids available for the project and calculate a price curve that represents the low, middle, and high prices of available bids. To prevent any race to the bottom or display of unrealistically high bids to the user, we significantly reduce the weight of those bids that are on the extreme ends of the price spectrum. From there, we present the first set of results to the user.

Favorites Trump All
We should add that there is one thing that trumps all in the Smart Bid Algorithm—a user’s favorite editors. The main purpose of the MobFeed (and eventually, similar efforts on the web in general), is to enable potential consumers to curate a list of favorite editors. When someone sees a video that they like, we don’t want them to “like” the video. We want them to “favorite” the editor. Then, when he or she next creates a project and puts it out to bid, guess whose bids they see right up in front of everyone else’s? That’s right, those folks that they favorited previously. We think this is an awesome way to foster repeat relationships among people who have worked well together in the past, and by building a transactional layer on top of the experience of video viewing around the web, hopefully create a ton of new work for talented editors.

Now What?
Well, it’s now up to the users to drive the marketplace and determine the bids that are right for their project. We present them with a limited set of bids to work with. They start to swipe through the results, look at specific bids, play portfolio items, and maybe decide to thumbs up or down a bid. All of these actions impact the next set of results that they see. The more a user engages with an editor’s bid card by opening it, viewing an editor’s portfolio items, etc., the more interested they are in what the editor has to offer. This is why we recommend having a personalized bio and bid notes, as it is a user’s primary introduction to you as the editor.

We know the system is not perfect today and we are gathering feedback in real-time from both editors and users to perfect it for the future. We’re collecting data, we’re collecting feedback, and we’re as committed as ever to make sure VidMob is a video marketplace that works for everyone. We believe in bringing the work to our editors so they don’t have to spend hours every day bidding on projects that they might not win. You set up your auto-bids, sit back, and let the Smart Bids system bring the jobs to you. And if you have any suggestions for how to make the system even better, we’re all ears! Just shoot us a line at

Topics: algorithms, smart bids