Video casting, does it have a future?

Robert Scoble asks if a review of RSS aggregators using video would be a useful thing, and my answer is no. Why? Well, I more need to explain why I think video casting is a technology with a lot less of a future than blogging and pod casting first. It does have a future, and we’ll get to that in a minute…

Information overload

One of the problems facing bloggers and people reading blogs is information overload. Blogs originally happened as a way of getting around a lack of information, and it’s certainly worked, to the point where it’s starting to be hard to keep track of all the feeds I read. Now, I’m managing and have incidentally noticed that I’m reading a lot less email (because I’m getting less) and using my morning email hour more for blogging.

Now, podcasting (or is it pod casting?) is good in this respect too. There can be a lot of content, but I’m using idle time to work through it — be that when I’m hacking away with my headphones on, walking around, or in the car. After all, I spend an hour a day commuting to and from work, and that time needs to be used for something.

Videocasting / video casting on the other hand leaves me with this problem of when to use the content. If I’m watching moving pictures in a window on my laptop, then I’m not really working as I find video much more distracting. It’s not just background noise like a radio would have been in the past and pod casting and MP3s are now. Occasional videos are ok, but that’s probably because people are willing to devote their full attention to them. This would explain why vendor web casts remain popular — it’s actually “work” to watch one, so people don’t do anything else at the time.

So, if video is so much more intrusive, does it have a future at all?

As I just mentioned, I think occasional video has a future. People just need to remember that if there is a deluge of video content, then most of it is likely to get dropped on the floor. The video needs to be timely, clearly useful, and somehow justifiable as “work”. So, watching you play with your dog is unlikely to get a watching out of me.

The future for video casting

The other obvious place where video casting has a clear future is breaking the stranglehold of the media conglomerates. I really hate the broadcast media, especially in Australia where I would have to say that they have less clue than in the US. Yes, that is possible. In Australia, you have to have humans type out your guide data for TV, because the TV stations can’t comprehend non-infringing uses for automatically watching TV shows. You know what, as a result I watch fewer TV shows than I would otherwise. Nicely done.

Use video casting to break that monopoly. Give me shows that are interesting enough to watch in the lounge room. Give me heaps of that. Convince the Daily Show to video cast the US episodes so I don’t have to put up with the stupid international version that CNN occasionally gives me.


Now, a review with video as a supplementary, secondary, thing. That would be cool. Talk to me in RSS and HTML about something, and then give me the 30 second video example which I can use if I feel I need it. Speaking of which, is anyone out there aware of an app which will capture my Linux desktop and turn it into a video for me? Perhaps taking audio from the sound card at the same time so that I can add a sound track later? If it worked with ALSA (unlike Audacity), then that would be very cool too.

[tags: podcast videocast technology]