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Using Keynote for digital signage in galleries

The Digital Signage Project is a nifty hack of Apple’s Powerpoint-killer Keynote to use it for kiosk-style signage.

Using Keynote for the presentation layer means visitors would get the benefit of superior text rendering and presentation styles to other signage applications.

AV Related Interactive Media Web 2.0

Time based video annotation online

Mojiti and BubblePly offer time based video annotation for content posted on the main online video sharing sites. With these you can add your own subtitles or speech bubbles or other commentary to videos while they play for sharing and commenting by other viewers (who have to view the annotated video’ through either BubblePly or Mojiti).

The source file on YouTube etc stays untouched and what these two services are doing is hosting the annotations and then overlaying them as the source video plays embedded in their site.

This is a nifty idea and something that Mike Jones first suggested would be cool – in relation to some art and academic projects – about a year ago around our lunch table. Well, now it is here.

I’d assume that for most this will be a gimmick (see the sample movies on BubblePly) or useful for niche audiences (see the subtitling samples on Mojiti) but there are some really interesting possibilities for artists and others to play around with this technology too.

I remember a presentation by some academic researchers at University of Queensland who were experimenting with SMIL to build automated narrative generators and video search tools. I am not 100% sure of the project but it could have been related to the work of the Harmony Project.

AV Related Web 2.0 Web metrics

Pew Internet – Actual use of podcasts is low

Interesting reality check from the regular Pew Internet report in the USA (via AP/SMH).

A growing number of Americans are listening to podcasts, but very few do so every day.

The Pew Internet and American Life Project said that 12 per cent of internet users have downloaded a podcast, an increase from 7 per cent earlier in the year.

However, only about 1 per cent said they download a podcast on a typical day – unchanged from the survey earlier this year. The rest do so less frequently, perhaps only once.

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Current.TV and an ‘expansion of the pie’

From “Q&A With Current TV Futurist Robin Sloan” (Robin was one of the duo behind EPIC2014).

How has the increased popularity of video affected Current? Do more people contribute to Current?

Well, Current was ahead of the curve on Internet video, so really it just means now there’s more competition for both viewers and producers. A lot more competition.That said, Current is really looking for a different breed of contributor than other sites. Most of them are about exactly what Current isn’t: music videos, titillation, geysers of Coke and Mentos. Our standards are higher. So in many ways the rise of YouTube and its ilk is complementary, not competitive, to what we’re doing.

I mean, bottom line, the more people producing video and strengthening that set of skills the better.

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Stutzman on YouTube

Fred Stutzman’s blog is quickly becoming a must read.

Here he writes on YouTube from the perspective of YouTube as a social networking service rather than just a video hosting site. As he says,

The social architecture that enabled conversation in YouTube was built in, perhaps subconsciously, from the beginning. The founders built a site so they could share party videos with friends. The founders, while they probably have more friends now, likely had a relatively small social network. It was the millions of users like the founders, using the service in a similar fashion, that drove the value of YouTube. The fact the site also became the perfect home for viral videos and pirated video was completely secondary – they simply had the infrastructure to support the long-tail, hence the capacity to support non-long-tail uses. Other video sites that aren’t targeting the long tail are missing out on the social forces that drove YouTube – while people like viral videos, it is the long-tail of peer-produced content that keeps people coming back. It is the peer-production that enables conversation, and the iterative process that drives value back into the site. Without this value, a video sharing site is just expensive infrastructure built on a house of cards.

He also begins to hint at the other value in YouTube – that by visiting, watching, tagging, sharing and accumulating metadata around videos, users are effectively helping classify and categorise video which is notoriously difficult (like any time based media) to create descriptive metadata for (anyone use SMIL?).

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Outsourcing video hosting to YouTube may mean losing users

In a rather sensational piece on unsavoury content on YouTube in the Sydney Morning Herald today there is this little tidbit of note.

The site was impossible to access at public schools, an Education Department spokesman said.

“[The department] urges parents to monitor their children’s use of the internet at home as this is the most likely place from which students view and download material posted to these types of internet sites,” the spokesman said.

This has interesting implications for organisations considering hosting their streaming video on YouTube. Now you might consider using YouTube (or its competitors) to host video for you because –

a) your user base is already using and is familiar with YouTube
b) it solves (by outsourcing) some of the hosting issues around video in terms of bandwidth and delivery formats

But it is worth bearing in mind the consequences in terms of specific audience groups ability to access your content.

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Great Wall exhibition TVC up on various video sharing sites

We’ve put the latest television commercial from the Museum up on several video sharing sites as an exercise in viral promotion but also as a way of encouraging viewer feedback.

The advertisement itself is a response to a advertisement from a prominent Australian telecommunications company that has recently been running which has a child asking ‘why did they build the Great Wall of China’.

Are there any other museums out there using the video sharing sites to disseminate their marketing materials?

Google Video –
YouTube –

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Full screen web video

Neave TV is an amazing (but processor heavy) Flash site that delivers video from Google Video, Youtube and Blip. Made by Paul Neave who also made Flash Earth which is also very very cool and combines Google Maps images with Microsoft Virtual Earth images.

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Channel fragmentation

Those museum staff who came to my presentations earlier this year on Web 2.0 would remember that I talked a bit about the idea of ‘channel fragmentation’ in relation to traditional media. I used the example of cinema releases, DVD sales, cable TV licenses, traditional TV licenses, as well as competition from Copyright infringing distributions (P2P, DVDRs, pirate copies etc).

Here is another great example of channel fragmentation – ‘Giveaways killing DVD cash cow’ – from The Australian that has nothing to do with Copyright infringement.

British newspapers are now giving away free as many DVDs as are being purchased in stores, revealing a silent factor contributing to the decline of Hollywood’s cash cow format.

The cover-mounted DVD giveaways, which have included Prizzi’s Honour and Donnie Darko, devalue the format in the eyes of consumers, one-quarter of whom said they would have bought the same title if they had seen it in shops for a reasonable price, according to a report released on Thursday.


Although most of the major Hollywood studios oppose the newspaper giveaways, the smaller local distributors who have licensed the films are opportunistically doing deals with publishers for short-term gains that can generate as much as £250,000 for a film.

“The argument in favor of this is that the majority of these films have reached the end of their commercial cycle,” Ms Jayalath said. “In many cases, they’re no longer stocked because traditional retailers have a limited amount of space. For the rights holder, it can be the last bite of the cherry.”

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Pitchfork’s YouTube music video selections

Ahhhh . . . . . collective ‘intelligence’.

YouTube provides the ideal place to put music videos. And Pitchfork has done a nice job of linking to what they consider are the ‘best 100’. They’ve excluded videos that were on the Directors Label series, so its the ‘best 100’ videos ever minus the top 20 best ever really.

Still, this is a nice example of community memory versus hardline IP protection (which would mean all these videos would be removed from YouTube – even though music videos are often considered by artist and label alike as advertising).