Saturday, February 24, 2007

Multi-link comment from Google Video

I am trying to find a way to improve access to streaming videos. Yesterday, I showed that I could create two links in a single comment. That demonstrated the potential to create an index or table of contents for a video in a comment. So here, I test a longer list of annotated time codes and whether it is possible to include special characters.

Results at Google Video: The Google Video comment tool accepted both the longer list and the copyright symbol in my comment. The links that the tool added automatically work very nicely. The video jumps quickly to each of the time-code anchors. Looks like we have a way to develop table of content tools for videos at Google.

Transferring from Google Video to Blogger: Now, can I resolve the complications that I encountered yesterday when I tried to move the links from Google Video to this blog? I copied the text from the Google Video comment and pasted it directly into the "Compose" editor of Blogger. Then I switched immediately to the "Edit Html" tab and inspected the links. The first three links all contained only ampersands between the end of the docid number and before the #. The last url contained the & code instead. Since Google Video does not require/expect the ampersand, I removed all of them in the html editor.
This comment tests multiple links and embedded special characters:
2:03 ReadOnly vs. ReadWrite cultures
4:30 Sousa's concern for loss justified
5:10 Free labor movement
1:00 © War on RW- How to resist?
Analysis: Apparently, the Blogger editor was able to identify the need to url-encode the last of the four links but did not make the substitution for the other three cases. So when I saved the text in yesterday's experiment, the processor got to the ampersands and expected to find one of the standard codes for a special character. Since the Google Video time code is not a standard code, the processor truncated the url. So the url still links to the correct video but starts at the beginning rather than jumping to the desired location. Google Video tolerates the ampersand in the terminal url so it still worked.

Note that it retained the copyright symbol even in the "Edit Html" view.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Transferring time coded links from Google Video

Yesterday, I tried to transfer my comments from the space at Google Videos to this blog. I ran into several problems. I am trying it again with greater awareness of the challenges.

22 hours ago Mark as Spam
In this celebration of accomplishments of Read/Write culture, Lessig advocates for a new literacy:
18:30 New Literacy.
23:45 Recommends 2 action steps for individuals.

I typed the text above, copied only my comment from the page at Google Video, and then pasted the text here. Note that the font size of my additional text was changed by following the insertion. I will not preview to see whether that might help. I saved as a draft and have now reopened the post and will publish.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Testing time-selected clips at Google video

Claude Almansi and I have been discussing approaches to collaboratively add value to web-based resources. In order to more fully appreciate Claude's perspectives, I looked beyond our direct exchanges. I found this page in Italian: Captioning. Since I don't read Italian, I got Google to help me translate Claude's page (translated by Google). While the machine translation left much to be desired, it helped me to understand Claude's perspective better. In the post, Claude encouraged readers to look at video of Lawrence Lessig's presentation at Wikimania 2006. So, I took Claude's suggestion and watched it.

While watching the video at Google video, I saw that Google had introduced the capacity to queue up the clip to a specific time and speed up the access. Since this greater degree of control addresses one of the issues that Euan Semple raised in his analysis More is less, I decided to test it. The Google video site makes it very easy to add a comment to the video which links directly one or more starting spots in the clip. Unfortunately, the commenting function in Google exhibits some of the limitations that Claude and I had discussed. You will be able to see my comment on the Google site but let's first show that the system can jump to a point other than the start.

After 18 minutes and 20 seconds, Lessig promotes the concept of a new literacy: New Video Literacy.

Then after a few more minutes, Lessig recommends action steps for individuals: Action steps.

I tried to modify the embedding code that Google video supplies to make this embedded player start at some point other than the start. Thus far, I have not gotten it to work.


When I tried to incorporate these links to selected parts of the video clip, the Blogger editor interface kept messing with my writing. I lost parts of what I wrote a couple of times before realizing that the editor was balking at ampersands (&) in the urls. So, I substituted the code & in the urls and then it accepted the texts. I wonder whether the problem comes from previewing before saving.

Friday, February 9, 2007


Yesterday, I added these Mojiti spots to Michael Wesch's second draft of his "Web 2.0 ... The Machine is Us/ing Us". The Mojiti interface limits meta analysis. I copy from the spotter's interface to see whether I can use it for meta reflection. Blogger strips the tabular formatting and keeps links (editing and delete) that are only useful to me. Note that some of the feedback here is really for Mojiti as much as it is for Wesch.

I tried to improve a spot that another user contributed. The Mojiti interface obliterated the text and would not allow me to modify link text. I ended up having to create a new spot and delete the one that the other user had started rather than simply revising. That is not a problem for such short text but I hope they improve the tool.

4 Spots (4 created by You)

Icon_spotorange Created by You | Created on 02/08/2007

Visit Mike Wesch's homepage at Kansas State University.

Start: 00:00:05
End: 00:00:13
Spot Type: Normal

Icon_spotorange Created by You | Created on 02/08/2007

Wesch has created a surprising irony here. He uses video to present text. But only by superimposing Mojiti can we turn his respresentation of text into links!

Start: 00:00:32
End: 00:00:42
Spot Type: Normal

Icon_spotorange Created by You | Created on 02/08/2007

Kevin Kelly published the article "We are the web" in Wired in August 2005.

Start: 00:03:12
End: 00:03:25
Spot Type: Normal

Icon_spotorange Created by You | Created on 02/08/2007

To add a clickable hyperlink, select the text, right click your mouse, and choose the "Add Hyperlink" option. Macs: the cntl+click equivalent works in the initial window but not in the revising window.

Start: 00:03:25
End: 00:03:35
Spot Type: Normal

Thursday, February 8, 2007

What happens when everyone blogs?

Michael Wesch illustrates some possibilities and unresolved implications of the read/write web in his video perspective:

While viewing the video, I found it frustrating to see important digital information yet not be able to interact with it in ways that I have become accustomed for text-based materials. For example, seeing the Wesch's images of Kevin Kelly's Wired article told me that there was something important there but I needed to go to some lengths to find the original article (recipe: "rewind" the clip until I found the title, and then use it in a Google search for "We are the Web").

Later, I read an update on his Wesch's progress creating the video. He has opened door for feedback from all quarters.
This is the 2nd draft, and I plan on doing one more final draft. Please leave comments on what could be changed or improved, or what needs to be excluded or included. Subscribe if you want to be notified when the revision is released.
He has encouraged viewers to comment on his video using the discussion tools of YouTube. I can imagine how challenging it is to connect the text comments with the video. Recall the comment feature in The Bridge, an early online writing and learning environment produced by CTLT at WSU. It allowed reviewer to place comments on the same screen but did not associate them with the material in the text. But Wesch is now testing Mojiti, a tool much better suited for comments on video:
UPDATE: I just added this video to Mojiti where you can actually write your comments into the video itself. It is an exciting experiment in "Video 2.0". Go check it out at and add your voice!
Mojiti provides simple video subtitling tools that have adjustable start and stop time-codes that make it possible to annotate the video. One viewer resolved the dilemma I described above by adding a text-over comment that includes a link to Kelly's article. In the spirit of wiki collaboration, I tried to improve the Mojiti "spot" to be more complete but I am still learning to use the interface. My set of annotations can be found at (the 2024 identifies Michael's video and the 3437 identifies my set of spots for this video).