Long Blogging Break

February 3, 2011

Yes, that really was quite the haitus.  The inspiration to come back is that I’ve been thinking of a series of blog posts on how to make interactive video successful.  What attributes is it of the video itself or of what you add to it that makes it work, and work better than either alone.  I think there’s a formula – a set of guidelines, and if you stray too far the interest won’t be there.  I have a bunch of individual guidelines thought out in a vague way, but I’ll be putting pen to paper soon to explore why efforts like ABC’s interactive My Generation didn’t work, and where interactivity will thrive.  Should be fun.

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As interactivity comes to the television, user interface designers distinguish between the two foot experience of sitting at a computer and the ten foot experience of watching the living room TV.  The ten foot interface is usually a remote control rather than a keyboard, and interactivity is therefore limited relative to the more user-directed experience of the internet.  But as televisions grow larger, the distinction is more about the desire rather than the ability to interact.  People will always want the passive experience of watching television, but the TV is becoming more and more ready to deliver the full interactivity of the computer.

The term interactive television has awful connotations: failed, expensive experiments by media companies, klunky, slow, simplistic interfaces on set-top boxes, kludgy two-screen interfaces. Despite some wonderful efforts (Who Wants to be a Millionaire comes to mind), television is just not the right medium for interactivity. But the web is. Are media companies convinced that interactive video is dead because of these bad executions? You’d think so because now that we have a truly interactive medium and standardized interface, we’re not seeing much interactive video content from the media. I may be biased, but I think this will change soon and huge.

Silicon Alley is generally thought of to be the area in Manhattan between Union Square and expanding somewhat north of Flatiron building. But in my experience the talent and creativity that feeds the New York web startup scene is largely focused in Brooklyn. It’s nothing new that Brooklynites have exhibited ambition and aspirations, but Brooklyn is in the midst of a Renaissance. It’s culturally vibrant and neighborhoods recently reminiscent of demilitarized zones have become trendy and upscale. More often than not, when my neighbors talk of leaving (or do leave) Tribeca, it’s for Brooklyn. And as I look for talented people to work with on ved.io, I often find myself crossing that famous old bridge. My co-founder in ved.io who now lives in rural Connecticut – guess where he’s from?

TechCrunch50

September 10, 2008

We just did our demopit day at TC50 and it was a great experience – sore feet, lost voices and all from a 13 hour day.   Met lots of great people, and ved.io was well received. 

Of course you can’t. You can only get a first impression, and first impressions are powerful. It’s fairly obvious that these are just the author’s initials. It’s not a bad graphic to put on the cover. But really, he’s had these initials his whole life – he knows how this could be interpreted. Now I’m going to read this book because it looks like fun, but I can’t help thinking there’s a hint here to take this (nonfiction) story with a grain of salt.

It’s finally happened: after years of news scrolls showing unrelated headlines during newscasts, CNN last night had a box at the bottom of the screen showing facts about the speakers and candidates.  This of course required a little preparation to gather facts, and the facts could have been more interesting.  However, here’s the first example I’ve seen (granted I don’t watch much TV) where the content shown on the screen was not random.  I believe the future of news is one obvious step beyond this: giving context to video stories with related interactive content.