Thursday, August 24, 2006

YouTube Killer?

I've never been a big YouTube fan, but since there is the occasional gem on there, I've been coerced into watching their blurry, low-res videos.

However, more troubling than the quality of the videos is the type of content that is being posted. YouTube seem to be going after the lowest common denominator of user -- to become the MySpace of video content -- and that means the majority of videos seem to be teenagers in front of their webcams babbling on about things that interest other teenagers in front of their webcams.

Early on, I saw the need for moderated channels -- a trusted authority to pick and choose videos worth watching. Unfortunately, YouTube announced Paris Hilton as their first celebrity channel 'moderator'.

Enter DivX Stage6 -- a service that seems to champion quality over quantity. Quality in terms of video resolution - you can download high-quality, full-screen videos. And quality in terms of selection -- people have actually taken the time to produce and edit something here, before uploading it.

From the site:
Stage6 is the next evolution in digital media. What does that mean? It means we want to improve the experience for finding and viewing good media online. It means having access to high-quality video on the web that actually looks good in full screen, rather than the all-too-familiar choppy, pixilated, low resolution videos we are all accustomed to seeing online nowadays. It means being free to burn backups of our media and take it with us wherever we go. It means having the freedom to watch Internet videos anywhere and anytime we choose on any device we want, even on our TVs, without cumbersome digital rights management (DRM). It means having a voice in the content we consume. It means being able to easily share cool content with our friends, discover new content our friends think is cool and, perhaps most importantly, make new friends along the way.

Good luck guys!

via Scobeleizer

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Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Personal Information Architectures

I tend to use Bloglines (RSS reader) recreationally, to get my mind off of work. However, today, when I switched over to the site, I still had my professional hat on and I was surprised by what I saw --

The information architecture I've 'designed' into my personal folder defies every convention I'd use when designing a list of categories for client -- that is to say -- for the consumption of the general public.

I have labels that 'do what they say on the tin'-- such as 'Comix' or 'News'. I have other labels that describe a service like '' and 'technorati' Finally I have labels, the precise meaning of which can only be known to me. 'Daily Read' -- describes feeds that I like to read daily. 'Noisy blogs' are feeds that quickly fill up with posts, and yet I'm only interesting in 2% of them. And the incredibly opaque 'In the Queue' is the label for feeds which I'm not sure I want to keep -- they are 'in the queue' to be either moved to a permanent folder, or deleted.

And this system works perfectly for me. It fits my ideosyncracies like a well-worn pair of jeans.

This reinforces an idea I had ages ago -- that people should be able to develop personal information architectures and layer them upon the taxonomy of the websites they visit.

But I developed this concept before RSS had caught on. Perhaps this will be the natural evolution of feeds.

When feeds and readers become more robust with additional layers of metadata -- we'll all have a custom view of the web -- pushed, fed and filtered into a personal information architecture as quirky and delightful as we are.

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