V-LOGGING AND OTHER NEW IDEAS
17 August 2005
I found out the other day that, as with Google's "image search," Yahoo has a "video search." Want to see if there are any videos on hippos on line? Put "hippo" into the query and soon up will pop more videos than you ever dreamed were on the Internet. Want to check out a place you've visited or would like to visit, you can probably find a video by visiting Yahoo.
[I haven't quite figured out how the search engine works, since it doesn't appear that "Our Media" videos make it to the collection (at least, none of mine have!)]
This is obviously a whole new area of the Internet just begging to be explored, just as there was once a time when nobody had thought of putting their life on line and we all had to learn how to do it properly.
And, of course, as with any new thing that pops up on the Ineternet, quality of internet videos is all over the place. Everything from pretty darn good to absolutely awful quality. And formats are all over the place. I can play .wmv and .mov and .avi files, and now that I've upgraded to QuickTime 7, I can finally see .mpg files. There are others that lock up my system if I try to open them.
There are other problems with this still infant technology. Lots of them.
From a technical perspective, the flood of videos for the internet automatically eliminates a good percentage of people with older computers. Walt, for example, can only see the movies I've been making (mine fall in the "pretty awful" category, by the way--I have no illusions about my still amateur video capabilities!) if I show them on my computer because his is too old to show the movies.
Another problem is with people abandoning written blogs for video blogs. There are those former bloggers, now vloggers, who stare at the camera and hem and haw and stumble over their words (which is what I would do were I to try it), where perhaps their written work is so much more readable.
And then, this being a new technology, most of the people attracted to it and learning it are younger people, so a lot of what I check out (and I've spent entirely too much time lately exploring!) turns to be the kind of sophomoric stuff that my kids were doing back in high school (from which they have progressed slightly in the interim, thank goodness.) Videos range from well lit to barely viewable, from decent size screens to so small you can hardly see them, and those which pop up almost as soon as you click on them, to those (like mine--I haven't perfected the technology yet), which seem to take FOREVER to play--and then you wonder why you spent all that time waiting, because it wasn't worth it.
The good ones are the people who are combining both written logs and video logs. Rob Hudson, whose journal falls into the "good writing, enjoyable content" category that has kept me reading him for years, has now added what he calls a "video thingy," which augments his written stuff and, while not as good as the written version, is still fun. He has been putting videos of daughter Schuyler and his pets on the net for years, so is experienced with editing and stuff, but video blogging is a new experience for him.
Millie Garfield, at 80, is one of the Internet's oldest bloggers. (I can't remember if Denver Doug beats her or not!) "My Mom's Blog" is a combination of written stuff and video stuff and the video stuff (taken by her son) is usually interesting and/or funny, her written stuff well written. Her speech (videotaped), explaining how she happened to write her blog and the difference it has made in her life, is pretty interesting--especially when you consider her age, and factor in the number of people significantly younger than she is who still can't do e-mail.
Her son, Steve Garfield is obviously one of the more experienced vloggers. His entries are well-lit, a decent size, and come up quickly, so people don't have to wait a long time before they start playing. I was delighted to see that he interviewed Tony Kahn of WGBH's "Morning Stories," whom I know from listening to him on "Says You." Fun to put Tony's face with his voice.
I feel we're on the verge of another explosion as people discover places like Our Media, which provides unlimited storage space for videos, as more people get cameras and learn how to make, edit, and compress video, as computers get bigger and faster and can play these videos. I hope that vlogging never completely replaces written journals/blogs. (I for one am much better on a page than on a camera.)
But the new technology sure is fun to learn. (I added two more brief clips from Australia today--links in the column on the left.)
Now I guess I have to start learning about pod-casting. I'm
inspired by Millie Garforth--we're obviously never too old to learn something new!
PHOTO OF THE DAY
Ned (on the right), his friend K.C., and K.C.'s daughter, Josie