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Make video more consumable

January 29, 2007

As a follow-up to my last post about video online, which was in turn related to the post about Scoble and linking before that, here’s my take on how video online could improve:

I was struck by how much I enjoyed reading Scoble’s rundown of what was in his Intel video. He even included some timestamps of some interesting bits, so you could skip right to it if you’d like. IMHO, this is a step in the right direction. What I’d *really* like to see is yet another step: chapters as separate entities with good, short summaries.

I’d love to see video with great content (I don’t think anyone’s debating whether Scoble gets great content – he clearly does, and lots of it) be available both as the long-form video (in this case, 40 minutes) as well as shorter (1-5minute) chapters that tie together. The chapters would need to be completely separate video files so I don’t have to download the entire 40 minute segment to find the bit that’s important and relevant to me. That’s a biggy so let me elaborate – even if I know the exact timecode for a segment in a longer video, I don’t want to download the whole thing and then jump through it. Instead, I want summaries of the chapters so I can quickly skim through the summaries and watch, say, 10 minutes out of 40 that’s highly focused.

Now, I know this won’t work for everyone. Scoble, for example, is passionate about not editing his videos because they’re conversations and I completely respect that as a viewer, a videographer myself, and an interviewee on his show. But even conversations often have chapters: the business chapter, the competition chapter, the upcoming features chapter, etc. I’m not advocating editing anything more than it’s already been edited – just making it more consumable.

There’s a reason YouTube became so wildly popular, and I don’t think it’s fair to brush the phenomenon off as “that was for fun stuff, but serious video needs to be long.” That’s a load of BS. I consume deep articles on technical subjects all the time, but I often skim for the good bits and jump out of the site to research related items before jumping back in. Both would be made possible by using text-based summaries with hyperlinked chapters as the basis for navigating a given video.


Categories: business, personal, web 2.0
  1. January 29, 2007 at 12:42 pm


    WellcomeMat has exactly what you are talking about, and a patent-pending status on it.

  2. January 29, 2007 at 9:53 pm

    Consume, consume, consume, more video, shorter video, quicker access, blogs, podcasts, . How fast paced must our lives become?

  3. PanMan
    January 30, 2007 at 4:07 am

    You can skip without downloading the whole thing, if the video isn’t served from a webserver (like most video), but from a flash, or other streaming media, server. Fabchannel (http://fabchannel.com) does that, and won a webby for their videoplayer. That makes more sense than splitting it up in several files. Because if I’m interested, I want the show to keep playing.

  4. January 30, 2007 at 8:58 am

    Veotag is a web-based deep tagging solution that addresses the problem of making videos more consumable. Check out http://www.veotag.com. THere are already some very interesting long-format videos that have been veotagged. Take a look at http://zbiz.tv to see a great interview with Steve Wozniak, and you can see what it is about and go to the spot you want right away! You can also search for it with Google to go into the middle of a video. Just Google for – “Woz talks about early days at apple”…..

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