Re: [videoblogging] Re: BloggerVision

On 15/06/2004, at 5:09 PM, Yaron Samid wrote:

> Quality of service, namely picture quality (resolution and screen
> size) is important to mainstream viewer adoption. Its been proven
> time and again in the media world. Cable TV killed that antenna on
> top of your old TV set because of picture quality, not because of
> the 100 channels you never watch. You'll be switching to and paying
> extra for HDTV soon to. That being said, I've always felt the
> plumbing is only worth the shit it delivers. Picture quality or not,
> you're 100% correct, content is THE main driver of viewership and
> always will be.

I'm too far out of trad. media studies these days to know how accurate
this is 🙂 But i'll still keep the hat on and suggest it is only half
true. In Aust. cable uptake has been low, and in Britain it (I think)
was kick started by Murdoch buying football rights and sticking it on
the satellite. Here digital TV is being kicked off by home DVD +
theatre, not to get the digital signal. People are buying bigger tvs
with better sound systems so the extra few dollars for the decoder is
no big deal, but it is still secondary.

now, on top of that, keep in mind in the US you have NTSC and we have
PAL (as does Europe) which does look better, so the technical demand or
gap is lessened. Also I'd suggest it is not just quality of image but
content. Here things like the Soprano's, Sex in the City, Six Feet
Under, etc are all free to air but they are all cable in the States.
Now, not only is this content that US free to air can't match, but it
is also clear that cable has caused a renaissance in US television
production. This is because of the creative freedom that cable
produces, not because the picture is so much better 🙂

I'm not disagreeing, just suggesting it is not just a question of
supply and demand where supply = better quality images and sound.

> I would think picture quality is relevant for video bloggers as
> well, whether they shoot a 15 second "life moment" or 5 minute short
> movie — you put in the time to produce the content, isn't it a
> shame to have it seen in a choppy 200X100 window? Before you answer
> that, let me just say that it is entirely up to you. Our goal is not
> to enforce any production value standards on video bloggers, just to
> facilitate the publishing and distribution of their video files,
> regardless of its size. The key value to video bloggers is that its
> an free and easy way to publish video online. If they still want to
> create small, low-res files, that's completely up to them. Low
> quality encoding standards are actually imposed on people by the
> bandwith/costs limitations of streaming. Sticking to that standard
> with our technology would be like driving a porsche in 1st gear, but
> to each his own. This is really not about picture quality for the
> publishers but I'm glad you brought it up.

again 50% there. If I want to accept what are basically Hollywood
production values translated to the web then sure, but what if I want
to be Jean Luc Goddard on the web? Or any other new wave director?
What's the web equivalent there? Perhaps it is 320 x 240, stuttering,
shuddering video. But of course, the model ought to support all needs.

I do argue strongly for the idea that networked video is about desktop
screens. it isn't tv or cinema and misjudges the desktop if it tries to
be this. why? well the screen is domestic and personal. it is usually
viewed by one person, me. right now i have 12 programs running and I'll
flip from writing mail to my news browser to my web browser as I need
or whim dictates. So the model of content in this environment is the
blog chunk. That isn't just 20" bits of video but it is also 20" bits
of video that play nicely on my desktop with everything else that I'm
doing. For example, right now the best 'vogs' are high quality 30
second commercials that companies make available online. my personal
favourites have been the US Volkswagen ads. They're 30seconds long,
download in easily, play politely, have good production values and good
narratives. They don't want to be movies, they don't want or need to
own my desktop. Would I like much better quality sound and vision? sure
🙂 Will it ever be enough? No.

> How important do you think it is for video bloggers to have thier
> clips seen by many people? Is it a small community thing or are we
> striving for mainstream viewership?

oh, tricky one. If you're using the blog model then it is more about a
community of reader/viewers which could be 10's, 100's, 1000's or
10,000's. if you want a lot of viewers then it is easy to get them, but
if you want quality readers then it is a case of making decent work and
letting the audience accrue. what many in .com misunderstand is that
for things like blogs and vogs the start up costs basically approach 0.
That means there is no implicit need to garner an audience to recoup
the start up and running costs. So if you make decent content, leave it
there, add to it, your audience builds over time.

in terms of vogs the trickiest part is to develop the same architecture
that blogs have. permalinks that point to video objects not html
objects, a way of linking to those, and the like. This is what will
significantly help videoblogs as a specific practice, the other
conversation is to treat video on the web as only a question about
delivery. it isn't. it is also about making, writing, publishing, then
viewing and linking.

Adrian Miles
……………………………………………………….. ||
interactive networked video ||
research blog ||