The random thought for today is about online video. It’s been around for ages, obviously, but I’ve never been a fan. I can count the number of times I’ve visited YouTube’s homepage, rather than just following a link, on one hand, and have always been deeply skeptical of friends who go off to set up online video channels. I was sort of involved with one a couple of years back, and rapidly lost interest – what was the point with no viewers?
I’ve just finished doing a video feature for PC Gamer‘s next issue, though, which I’m quietly hoping makes it to the website too. And I know that the next chance we have to get a major traffic spike at LearnAsOne will be when Nerys and Steve start uploading video. I’m really excited about the fact that Response Network has the Flip which was donated to LearnAsOne, so that they’ll be able to film George’s reaction to the first cheque that gets sent over.
Which means that somehow, without me noticing, online video clips have become quite important to me. To the point that I’m noticing their absence from sites I write for like TechRadar. And I think it’s because of Twitter. Being constantly alerted to videos that might actually interest me – like Linsey’s preview of the HTC Hero this morning – is very different to the spammish emailing of comedy clips, which was all that ever seemed to arrive by email. Perhaps I’m just late to the party, and everyone else knew this before, but suddenly I’m very interested in online video reporting and want to do more of it.
Of course, there are some rules that sites posting videos should stick to (and many don’t). Like being able to embed their video files when linking to them. The fact many don’t is why there aren’t more examples of good videos in this post, and the opening HTC Hero vid is from a site I don’t work for, rather than one I do.