Glimmers of Hope In Video Search

One of my more inchoate but deeply felt rants has to do with the role of video in our culture. I'm convinced, for reasons I can't properly articulate, that as a culture we've hobbled ourselves by refusing to make video – in particular the incessant stream of television so omnipresent…

One of my more inchoate but deeply felt rants has to do with the role of video in our culture. I’m convinced, for reasons I can’t properly articulate, that as a culture we’ve hobbled ourselves by refusing to make video – in particular the incessant stream of television so omnipresent in our lives, a more citation-friendly, searchable, and conversational medium. What I’ve always wanted was the ability to approach video much as we now approach text – it can be searched, annotated, cut and pasted, linked to, etc. I want to be able to say “Hey, remember that great rant by Jon Stewart on Halliburton?” and then link to it or email it to a friend. I hint at some of this in various 2.0 columns.
Of course there are many technical and legal issues with the implementation of such a dream. Fist, bandwidth is still too expensive for most mere mortals to be hosting massive libraries of video. Second, the numbnuts at the MPAA. And third, video must be logged and tagged to be searched – it’s not a self-tagging medium like text.
But there is hope. For issue one, there’s the optimism (if not the politics) of folks like Gilder. For issue two, there’s folks like Larry Lessig. And for three, there’s closed captioning (it’s a start!), and the work of lesser known but really exciting companies like ShadowTV (thanks for the link, Gary!).Worth grokking, and good to know smart folks are on the case here.

4 Comments on Glimmers of Hope In Video Search

Sign up for the Newsletter

It’s Not The Name, It’s The Verb

So the debate on re-naming, or re-spinning, or re-thinking what RSS might mean to a broader world is playing out, at Contentious and on Dave Winer's blog as well as at Salon and here. But as I've been thinking about it, I'm increasingly convinced that the phrase we're looking…


So the debate on re-naming, or re-spinning, or re-thinking what RSS might mean to a broader world is playing out, at Contentious and on Dave Winer’s blog as well as at Salon and here. But as I’ve been thinking about it, I’m increasingly convinced that the phrase we’re looking for we already have – The Web. That word can shapeshift enough to incorporate the changes inherent to a pubsub world, as Dave puts it. Maybe what we’re really looking for is a better verb. Let’s kill surf, as soon as possible. And come up with something better.

2 Comments on It’s Not The Name, It’s The Verb

RSS Pushed One Step Closer to the Limelight

Funny how am idea gathers momentum. As I was penning my Implications of RSS For Business column for 2.0 (awaiting publication in dead tree form in three weeks), Scott Rosenberg was writing a pean as well, published in Salon this morning. He suggests we need a name for what…


Funny how am idea gathers momentum. As I was penning my Implications of RSS For Business column for 2.0 (awaiting publication in dead tree form in three weeks), Scott Rosenberg was writing a pean as well, published in Salon this morning. He suggests we need a name for what RSS represents, just as the Web became the mainstream’s understanding of HTML, we need a name for RSS. He reminds us we’ve been here before (remember Push? I was a reluctant contributor to this 1996 article, which began as an email thread in the Wired offices…)

In any case, I agree with Scott, we need a name. All the businesses in this space are still in the pre-market phase. RSS allows us to connect more efficiently, to grok information as we like it, when we like it – but what do we call it? I like to say my reader and blogs/news sources is my personal ecology – is there an idea in there somewhere? In any case, it’s exciting to see the idea start to take popular flight. Watch for the NYT treatment soon.

37 Comments on RSS Pushed One Step Closer to the Limelight

Transparency v. Trust

While on the plane, I finished reading an as yet published story by Cory Doctorow, who was kind enough to send it my way. Cory is one of the great projectors/predictors of tech/culture collision, and in this tale, titled "Human Readable," Cory use the inherent clash between engineers – who…

While on the plane, I finished reading an as yet published story by Cory Doctorow, who was kind enough to send it my way. Cory is one of the great projectors/predictors of tech/culture collision, and in this tale, titled “Human Readable,” Cory use the inherent clash between engineers – who implicitly trust that all human problems can be solved by elegant code – and humanists – who believe that trusting in code alone is a recipe for abuse, and possibly worse. This tension is certainly playing out in the world of search – with most of the paranoia around Google and other search engines driven – in essence – by seemingly cold, soulless and maddeningly opaque code. Worthy of note: Cory’s first novel, Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, takes Page Rank to the next level and beyond. A great read.

Leave a comment on Transparency v. Trust