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June 16, 2003

Video blogging - ready for prime time? Depends what 'ready' means...

After my notes about Google CEO Eric Schmidt's betting that video and multimedia blogging will become Big,  I began looking for examples.  This DailyWireless piece covers the growing number of options for personal publishing of audio and video.  Something clearly is happening here, although I agree with Matt May that it's subject to the golden rule: professional video production requires video professionals.  Part of his summary:
  • People can scan textual content meaningfully. In fact, scanning is the dominant information-gathering mechanism in Web browsing. They couldn't scan in audio or video players if they tried.
  • Text blog reading is done actively, as users scan and read the information that interests them. Audio and video content is inherently passive; therefore, the only value you can provide is active and engaging personality and good quality imagery and sound.
  • ...which you won't provide, because you're not as gregarious or photogenic as you think you are, your lighting sucks, and your bare walls look just like mine. The ability to buy a camera and some software does not help you in this department.
Both Matt and Eric are right...personal video publishing will continue to grow, but as with any creative or expressive endeavor, having good skills will continue to be important to reaching and keeping an audience.  

Matt goes on to point out that the key ingredients required for personal video publishing to take off (in the blogging sense) will be a robust ability for cross-linking and the ability to browse and scan video information  the way you can with text.  The technical underpinnings for this are SMIL, SVG, SlideML, and other open, text-based standards.  The right creative approach to content....I haven't seen that yet.

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