Posts Tagged ‘Youtube’

“Shut Up And Sit Down” – the AWARE saga, remixed

May 13, 2009

Shut Up And Sit Down – The Aware Saga, remixed – Download here

I’ve been fiddling a little on Garageband over the past couple of days and thought that the recent AWARE EGM saga would make a good mix, given the great quips from all the parties involved at the EGM and the ready availability of videos of the event on YouTube.  I threw on the Black Eyed Peas’ “Shut Up” instrumental and mixed in some of the attitude and conflict from that fateful afternoon. I believe some of the audio comes from videos posted by The Online Citizen.  Thio Su Mien, Josie Lau and both new/old exco members feature prominently in the song.  Enjoy.

Note: this mp3 is not representative of actual events at the EGM, and the quotes featured do not follow in chronological order (i.e. this is just a quick and dirty way of compressing all the AWARE drama into 4 quick minutes)

Interactive Video on Youtube – deja vu?

February 4, 2009

Is anyone else having a flash of deja vu from watching the hot-right-now “interactive” videos springing up all over Youtube?  Even the WSJ has noticed:

Web-video sites, including Google Inc.’s YouTube, Veoh Networks Inc. and Overlay.TV Inc., have recently added or plan to add features that let users embed interactive commentary and links into videos.

The article goes on the highlight “The Time Machine”, an interactive adventure video series, where you get to choose the protagonists’ next step at the end of each video.   Very similar to the old non-linear Choose Your Own Adventure gamebooks that I used to read as a kid, where you read a passage in the story, after which you’re given two options with different outcomes, thus allowing you to choose your path in the adventure.

That said, these videos aren’t REALLY interactive – the choices at the end of each video just link to other videos that continue that different threads of the same story.  After a couple of clicks, you’ll see that the interactivity really just makes up for lack of compelling action/content.  I agree with a commentator in the article:

Using some of these features effectively can be a challenge, however. James McQuivey, an analyst with Forrester Research, predicts that the majority of people will continue watching linear videos on YouTube.

“I think viewers will get a little tired” of interactive features, he says. “Now that the videos are starting to get cluttered with ‘click here’ and ‘do more,’ that is going to feel a little more like spam email.”

I don’t think it’s that it’s spam email, it’s just that the “interactive” term overpromises and underdelivers when it comes to film/video.  In those interactive adventure storybooks, the very act of moving your eyes across the page, interpreting the text and translating it into images in your head already requires some user interaction with the medium.  Watching a series of moving images is different, as the aforementioned interaction with the medium is removed, and the user becomes a more passive recipient of information.  The beauty of moving images is that because the images are instantly fed to the viewer, it becomes easier to hold his attention and to draw him into the world defined by the film/video, albeit in a hypnotic state.  Having to snap out of that hypnotic state to click on something on the screen takes away from the immersive experience.

I remember back in the early 90’s, Full Motion Video (FMV) point-and-click adventure games were the rage.  I spent much of my youth pulling all-nighters with games like Under A Killing Moon and Phantasmagoria.  They had a short successful run, but fizzled out like bad soda once gamers got sick of the B-movie storylines, limited interactivity and linear gameplay.  That’s where I see these videos going as well.

Citing YouTube / Taylor Momsen Nike Commercial

January 18, 2009

Back in Penn, I remember how the professors were adamantly opposed to the use of Wikipedia in our essays.  We were not allowed to cite a Wikipedia URL in our footnotes, which was troubling as I sometimes based entire essays on information gleaned from Wikipedia entries.

A NYT article suggests that the younger generation is now using YouTube videos as an academic source:

As more video is added to the Web, the proportion of video searches that deliver satisfactory answers will grow, too. The question is, how far will video go as an alternative to text?

Mr. Iskold said that two factors would naturally limit video’s potential to supplant text on the Web. First, much content doesn’t lend itself well to video. And the Internet derives much of its utility from the web of links connecting its sites. But Mr. Iskold said that a shift toward video would continue, and that young Internet users, like Tyler, would only accelerate it.

The numbers are staggering:

And now YouTube, conceived as a video hosting and sharing site, has become a bona fide search tool. Searches on it in the United States recently edged out those on Yahoo, which had long been the No. 2 search engine, behind Google. (Google, incidentally, owns YouTube.) In November, Americans conducted nearly 2.8 billion searches on YouTube, about 200 million more than on Yahoo, according to comScore.

Quite a worrying trend, given that kids wouldn’t be able to tell that this AWESOME viral video of Taylor Momsen from Gossip Girl was actually conceptualized within the staid, bare walls of a large conference room by a collection of suits: