Twitter Annotations

After my post about Learning Design Summer Camp, Twitter, and building context from backchannel conversations, CogDog commented with a pointer to an amazing post by Tony Hirst that explains how to overlay Tweets on youtube video. Since my colleague Pat Besong had mentioned to me yesterday that the videos were starting to go up to the TLT YouTube space I thought I’d give it a try. I followed the directions which include using the advanced Twitter search to isolate a series of Tweets, running them through a script, and then uploading them as a CC track in YouTube — worked fairly well with only a few limitations.

Picture 5I didn’t do the entire series of tweets from the Lightning Round, but I do enough as a test to see it in action. I’ll try pulling this off with a larger session where there were hundreds of tweets blasting around the room. This has tremendous potential in my mind … the ability to reconnect the backchannel to the actual event is an amazing step forward in preserving pieces of the event as it was experienced live. I can envision not only using the Tweets, but also targeting blog posts that reference specific moments by overlaying annotations. This requires some more exploration. Thanks, CogDog!

For now, take a look at the video and don’t forget to enable the closed captioning.

Mobile Video

Being an iPhone user puts you into a strange place — on one hand it is one of the more advanced devices available here in the States, but lacks some of the core features found on other devices that have been available here for quite some time. The feature I am referring to is the ability to record video. I just played with Brad Kozlek’s 3GS and was so impressed with the camera and the video options that is causing me to get really itchy for one. The video quality sort of blows my mind in general, but the ability to instantly post it to YouTube or email it is a real game changer. Posting of video to YouTube has been on a tear lately, but the 3GS adoption will just blow that up. Here’s a quote from a post at the YouTube Blog that lays it out …

In the last six months, we’ve seen uploads from mobile phones to YouTube jump 1700%; just since last Friday, when the iPhone 3GS came out, uploads increased by 400% a day.

I’ll add a little link to something else YouTube is going to kill at — citizen journalism. If you take a look at this post, Helping You Report the News, you’ll see they are clearly going after the “in the moment” style reporting that Twitter is dominating. The combination of mass adoption of devices, services, and the emergent ease of interoperability is a game changer. I find it really amazing to watch as hyper-connected social networks are fueling personalized text accounts of events and will now promote easy video as a basis for mass communication. To me it is stunning.

What I am struck by is how unprepared a site like Vimeo looks to me given all these recent moves … clearly video recording and editing was not much of a surprise to developers and while Apple chose to directly integrate posting to YouTube there doesn’t seem to be much of an excuse not to have a native video app ready to go. A quick search of the App Store reveals nothing. All I’m saying is that lots of people are buying these new devices and a properly designed application can provide huge opportunities to extend your brand and participation.

More and more this is what I am seeing with the whole iPhone ecosystem — apps drive traffic and can really make or break an existing service. There are a dozen or so Twitter clients all vying for our love, Apple has helped YouTube extend its reach, WordPress is making it happen with a native app, as are so many others. Being prepared to pounce in the mobile space seems more and more critical even if it is to drive traffic to existing services. Now, can I wait until October when AT&T will let me update for a reduced price? Perhaps.

Digital Resources

I’m a little late today with the One Post a Day, but given I am on vacation and the month is winding down, writing has become a little more difficult for me. Today as I was bouncing through email and feeds I got a note that I had a friend request in Facebook … so I logged in and confirmed the request, but while I was there I looked through my personal News Feed. One of the videos that a friend commented on was from last night’s Democratic National Convention. I watched that and started to think about a couple of things that I thought I’d share.

The first is how irritated I am at the way our networks (cable and the big three) cover events. If you aren’t watching C-Span you don’t get to see what is really going on. Instead of just letting us see the speakers we have to endure hours of the pundits telling us what to think. Additionally, they have these ridiculous crawls going on at the bottom of the screen — and CNN, WTF with the VH1 style trivia bubbles? I don’t need it. So the video I was directed to out of FB just now took me to one of the speeches that wasn’t being openly covered on the network I was watching and it was great. I’m not sure of the legality of it (as the video I watched was posted by an individual and not the network itself), but having instant access to alternative points of view is a very interesting opportunity for teaching and learning. Surly the coverage of the DMC is quite different on MSNBC, CNN, ABC, FOX, and the others. It probably wouldn’t be too tough to instantly create a handful of tabs in the browser that shows network reactions to the exact same events taking place. It would also be interesting to see which ones actually let the event be broadcasted versus talking over what is happening. The online conversation could also prove interesting …

After watching the video I got a little bit of a youtube bug and bounced to the front page. I’m logged in under our own TLT account so I saw new videos from my friends. The first one was a piece actually produced here at WPSU about World War II and showing on the WPSU YouTube Channel. I love the oral history approach to building new understandings and these pieces are powerful stuff. This past year our FACAC survey showed us that youtube is one of the most popular and frequently used technologies to support teaching and learning. How great is it that we have rich (and ever expanding) access to locally produced content? I know we are looking to use our youtube space more effectively in the coming year and I know more and more faculty who are exploring youtube for good ideas. The video below was one that I thought could promote some very interesting conversations in a class setting …

Last week while at Mont Alto we had a discussion about youtube in the classroom after I showed the “Charlie Bit Me … Again” video. People thought it was funny, but that was about it. I then tried to share some thoughts as to why I found it more than funny. What I find striking about youtube is the community activity a good/funny/interesting video can promote. If you look at anything that is popular you see dozens, if not hundreds, of comments in the form of text and video that are done as reactions, story movers, or parodies of the original. The ability to use existing content and then use the content environment to promote and stimulate conversations seems like it could be a very interesting opportunity.

Why have students watch a video at youtube and then go into ANGEL (or somewhere else) to write a response? I’d like to find ways to have them use the environment to post a follow up video or comment to see what happens. I really like the idea that the space provides some layer of motivation for participation. Can that same environment be used to draw classes into conversations related to digital media? I think so, but would be curious what others think.

BTW, this isn’t limited to youtube … take a look at the affordances that an environment like Flickr has for conversations related to imagery.