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Comment: Re:I'd be in favour of something else... (Score 1) 232 232

I don't have a problem with linking to a video as long as you have a transcript, but the fact that "thousands" of people watched them without complaining doesn't prove anything about whether they liked them.

I think we need could have a great discussion, but that first we'd need to go back to Marshall McLuhan's first major book, Understanding Media - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... - and come forward from there. This is where the saying, "The medium is the message" came from, in a time when "multimedia" was a beat poet doing a recital accompanied by a flute and bongos while psychedelic (a new word back then) images played on a sheet behind the stage.

I think that might make a fun little video piece. If you want to do it, email robin@roblimo.com.

Comment: Re:I'd be in favour of something else... (Score 1) 232 232

Less videos on Slashdot. As someone explained a few days ago, Slashdot readers are not business suits, we prefer to read our information. It's just plain faster.

This is the old "Slashdot ran a story that didn't interest me personally" complaint that's been going around since 1999. If you don't want to watch videos, don't watch them. If you want some or all of the information contained in a video, but don't want to watch the video, we give you transcripts.

Slashdot typically runs 20+ stories every day, and around 3 videos per week which may (gasp) go up to 4 or even 5 at some point. Thousands of people watch those videos and seem to like them, while 5 or 10 complain.

On the gripping hand, you seem interested in Bitcoins and that sort of thing. I've had people tell me that stories about digital currency don't interest them, so they don't belong on Slashdot. Ummm..... okay....

The sad secret is that there are many Slashdot readers with different tastes and desires. I figure that if anyone -- including me -- finds 80% of the stories on the site interesting, that's pretty good.

Thanks for caring,

- Rob

Comment: Re:NO! (Score 2) 88 88

by Roblimo (#49850871) Attached to: Dealing with Google's 'Mobilegeddon' Algorithm Changes (Video)

You're kidding, right? The show/hide transcript links have been in the same place all along. Is that one click really that hard on you? What about the click it takes to watch the video you don't want to watch?

If you don't want to watch videos on Slashdot, don't. We run three of them in the average week, and 20+ text pieces per day.

Comment: Re:The videos are bad (Score 1) 160 160

by Roblimo (#49828177) Attached to: Cable Companies Hate Cord-Cutting, but It's Not Going Away (Video)

By "nobody" I think you mean you. Videos draw far fewer comments than text stories. This one, for example, has over 10K views and is still climbing steadily, vs. only 114 total comments.

Your login hassles: try emailing feedback@slashdot.org - that ought to get you some help.Probably not with the 'fucking' logon system, but with the regular one...

Comment: Re:Some videos (Score 1) 160 160

by Roblimo (#49828167) Attached to: Cable Companies Hate Cord-Cutting, but It's Not Going Away (Video)

"These same points were made back when Slashdot started video'ing people, to no great effect. Vinegar is needed to catch your attention. You have the perfect opportunity to use 'directed practice based on feedback' which would turn you into a world-class videographer in a couple of years."

Thank you for your words of wisdom. If I want to do world-class videography, I will. But that is not the same as editing (and sometimes making) simple interview videos for a low hourly rate. And being Slashdot, I assure you that sophisticated videos with slick transitions and perhaps a music deck behind the dialogue would draw complaints about how they are "too fancy." I know. I made some. Amusing reactions.

I'll let (the late) Ricky Nelson sing for us: https://www.youtube.com/watch?...

I'm 62 and on disability, and one day my heart will go BOING! again and I'll be gone. Meanwhile, I do these Slashdot videos for fun and side money. If anybody *appreciated* more complex videos, I'd make them, but I suspect a true reader survey would show that good, full-length transcripts and short, simple videos would be the most popular choice. Or maybe "no videos," a choice to which I'd respond, "So don't watch them!"

You say: "If a video doesn't meet your requirements, it's impossible to tell *why* they don't meet them..." I said you could email video submissions and suggestions directly to me. I (lamely) obfuscated my email address, so here it is in the clear: robin@roblimo.com. If you send me a video submission or suggestion and I turn it down, I will almost certainly tell you why.

Did I need to be harsher to get your attention? :) Slather some vinegar on you? :)

Nah. That would be rude. I'm going to listen to some Primus and go to bed.


Comment: Re:The videos are bad (Score 1) 160 160

These videos are "Meet the Press" style on purpose. They exist to let you see some of the people behind the software, stories, and hardware they (or their companies) make. Steven, for instance, is one of the world's more popular tech journalists. Next time you see his byline, you can mentally call up his image. You may not want to do that, but others obviously do; thousands of people watch /. videos.

I agree with you about charts and graphs, up to a point. And people who have some sort of device or whatever should have a working model to show off. Otherwise, it's like my favorite PR pet peeve: Sending out a press release about a google glass look-sort-of-alike thing that is only a display and saying, "...I would love to schedule an interview for you with a Vufine team member." Instead of a review unit? Come on!

This is not a hypothetical situation. It's a press release I got today from this company: http://www.vufine.com/

Obviously, a hands-on test of an eyeglass-mount projector would be more informative than either a video or text interview -- and more fun for me, too. Why didn't they offer a test unit? Not to keep, of course. Just for a few days. Hmm?

Back to the talking head syndrome. I've made a lot of screencap videos, TV news shorts, online ad videos, TV spots, and a few music videos. So yeah, I can do fairly complex video work. 30 cuts in a 60 second piece? Sure. I've done that. BUT here we're sharing information, and a lot of it is pretty dry. We have no budget for motion video or animation, either. I could have included some shots of Steven's articles and pics of TV antennas, cableco logos, and other pieces of "visual interest." If you and a bunch of others feel the extra work/time/money is worthwhile, I'm happy to do that in future videos.

There's a whole other reason for videos of people talking: You know they're not being misquoted. Raw source material protects you against reporters changing meanings or opinions. I've been the misquoted person more than once, and I didn't like it. Even in a case like today's, where we ran a 4 minute video and 20 minutes' worth of text transcript, you can reasonably (and correctly) assume that I have the rest of the interview on a hard drive somewhere. Accuracy insurance.

Audio only? Be my guest! Listen to this video's audio on your smartphone while driving if you like. 100% up to you. But if it was sound only, you wouldn't have the option of watching the video. I was talking with someone else today about video vs. audio podcasts. His company did audio casts for a while, but he says they got a lot more response when they switched to video. And they do *not* provide transcripts.

A lot of this discussion falls into the "can't please everyone" category. Some people prefer watching people talk to reading what they say. (I'm a reader, myself.) But some people prefer visual information intake. Not you, obviously -- which is okay. Read the transcripts, don't watch or listen to the videos.

Last note: You said, "(I need to point out that anyone can grab a camera and record someone talking for ten minutes. What makes Slashdot better than all the YouTube teenagers who do this for their HS project? You have the intent, time, and money to do this. Do it right, then learn to do it well.)"

Geez! You're big on catching flies with vinegar, aren't you? :)

BUT if making simple videos is all that easy, why have we only gotten *one* usable video actually submitted by a Slashdot reader - ever? And it was over an hour long, and our management now wants our videos to be under 5 minutes. So we ran an excerpt of the guy's video and provided a link to the full-length version at his (non-commercial) site.

I have a guy who offered himself up for an interview because he though his product was better than one we did a video about. He does some interesting stuff I'm sure at least some /. readers will enjoy learning about. I'm going to try to schedule him in for next week, and see if he has any raw product demo footage around that I can use to make the video more interesting.

Do you have a video you want to run on Slashdot? Or a topic suggestion? Happy to check them out. Use the usual submission bin or email robin at roblimo dot com.


Comment: Re:Down with video (Score 0) 25 25

Sigh. We supply text transcripts with almost all videos. Look for the link -- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H... tells you how to use a hyperlink (or 'link' for short).

To see that link, click on the video's title or on the "read more" link below the video where it appears on the main page.

Have a nice day, and may everyone you meet be as courteous to you as you are to Slashdot staff!


- Robin

Comment: Re:What is this (Score 2) 25 25

Unless a story or video is marked SPONSORED CONTENT or ADVERTISEMENT it is not a paid ad on Slashdot. Sometimes a Slashdot editor -- Tim in this case -- gets interested enough in a person, group, service or product to do a video interview with the person/people behind it. The theory behind the Dan Shapiro interviews (and we have two more to run after a while) is that they're a great primer on how to use crowdfunding to kickstart your company. His Glowforge product is obviously not unique, and we have said so and linked to several competitors, which should be a clue that it's not an ad.

We looked at what Shapiro had to say as good info for entrepreneurial Slashdot users who may want to start their own businesses one day. You may not be one of them. Please understand that many thousands of people hit Slashdot every day, and stories that interest you may not interest each and every one of them. And stories that interest some of them may not be your cup of milk.

A funny datum for you: We ran an excerpt from an interview at http://passionatevoices.org/ - whose owner Erik first contacted me about our videos; he wondered if they were paid ads. Obviously they're not, because when Erik submitted his first video on passionate voices, this is what happened: http://news.slashdot.org/story...

We are happy to accept and run reader-submitted videos and we love suggestions for people we should interview. You can use the submission form or email me, robin at roblimo dotcom.

Got any good ideas? :)

- Robin

Gravity brings me down.