Back in Aug, Cfax reported that Comcast was considering launching a video Website called Ziddio.com (Cfax, 8/28), and this week the MSO filled in the blanks. On Mon, a beta version of Ziddio.com went live, with Comcast expected to launch it for real by early Dec. While the user-generated video site is sure to draw YouTube comparisons with its rankings and Webcam productions, it is a little different. For starters, it’s ad-supported and was created in partnership with interactive ad agency Genex. Ziddio also has a slicker feel and is much easier to navigate (not to mention that copyrighted material is strictly forbidden). And instead of featuring Youtube’s hodge-podge of everything, users submit videos for specific categories—comedy, games, music, action/drama, animation, movies, horror/sci-fi, reality. Comcast is currently just posting content for its "Be a Jedi" and "The Messiest Home in America" sections, featuring contests being conducted with HBO and Style—though with the site in beta mode, there’s little to watch. Ziddio carries the tag, "Shoot, Share and Get on TV," touting another aspect in which Comcast hopes to be novel: Some of the best Ziddio.com content will be posted on Comcast VOD, which also will be ad-supported. Still, not everyone’s ready to pull out their Webcams. "While companies continue to copy Youtube’s business model, there is clearly a ‘network effect’ that is driving Youtube’s dominance," Pali‘s Rich Greenfield told Cfax. "We struggle with the notion that the core Youtube audience will upload their content to Ziddio in hopes of being seen on cable channel 1000, and even whether the core Youtube user even watches video on demand?" Comcast isn’t the only MSO playing the user-generated VOD game. Take Time Warner SC, which is currently collecting funny and/or touching holiday videos for its Carolina On Demand channel. Like Comcast, it’s also dangling prizes ($500 cash) to entice submissions. [For Cable360.net‘s take, click here].

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