You might be wondering why I posted a widget that said play with me earlier on this blog.
It was a cat. I could have just as easily posted a video, as others have posted video here in the last week.
How did I do that? Did I have to log into the blog software to post my virtual pet or a video? No. I never went to this blog administrative page to post the pet. I found the pet on another website and sent it here. (I was testing a website by IAC, when I ran across the pet widget.) I clicked on "add pet" to my blog (along with my login and password) and it was already posted. Look at the previous blog entries for the cat.
The ease of use to distribute audio and video on the Internet and portable devices is maturing. If you can send a virtual pet, you can send video anywhere.
No, it's not all simple or reliable. The problem is usually the creator of the "distribution" device or widget (gadget, or "app" application) hasn't made it easy for "us" to put up video on multiple websites, blogs or on portable media devices.
Hang on, last I looked I found 900 video widgets or gadgets on Facebook, a popular social networking website. Last I played with them, many were one click distribution networks in their own right! Presto, I put up a Live TV channel on my Facebook profile page. ( A profile page is akin to your own personal home page or personal website. The social networking websites provide tools to let you connect and add things in a very easy manner. That's the short definition. You need to join a social network with video to understand this.)
Why are some of these things not working?
It might be a media company or content producer that didn't think through all the details about how they would distribute the files across the Internet. (That's a job for companies at the show like Akamai, Limelight, etc, called CDN's or Content Distribution Networks. On a smaller scale, you need a computer and an Internet connection.)
What does this have to do with the NAB?
At the NAB SuperSession on Social Networking, we got a glimpse of mashups and how content is coming together and getting distributed on the Internet. (I do have a list of the three favorite social networking sites from each panelist which I will post.)
Social Networking websites are not just for sending notes, emails, or exchanging photos or resumes. They are video distribution networks, so to speak, but video distribution is promoted or discovered on individual profile pages in a social network.
Are you confused? About half the people reading this blog might be. More than half of you may not have watched video on a social network. You might not be a member of a social network where video is just part of the social network experience.
Some discover videos on profile pages, others discover it on widgets, gadgets which are portable applications. Let's say I find a channel I love from Norway. In a second, I can click on "add Norway Channel", and viola, it's on my profile page. Guess what, my friends who follow me might note that I added the "Norway Channel" and they watch too.
In the meantime, if these widgets or gadgets sound greek to you, you're not alone. If social networking sites don't interest you, you're not alone. It might not interest you, but darn it, it's part of your broadcast life and there's no way to get around learning about it to stay ahead.
Folks are finding video on the Net on the profile pages of others who are on a social network or by recommendations from friends. A Facebook executive told me that 70% of the folks on Facebook discover video from another Facebook member on their profile page.
If you want an example, review the website from the CEO/Founder Dmitry Shapiro who was on the panel with me. His url is http://www.veoh.com/. You can also connect to me at Facebook, I have a few video widgets and gadgets on my profile face.
Still confused about widgets, gadgets, applications, video aggregation sites, content distribution networks, blog video, blog audio, social networking video, that's okay.
I am confused too. The social networking video gurus you met at the NAB are confused too. (They may not admit it!) They may see a path to the future of video, but they can't give you a map.
The way the world is discovering video is changing daily, and with that media companies are changing too, and so are you and I.
It all boils down to providing content to listeners and viewers the way they want it, where they want it.
That's pretty simple to understand, and if you understand that, you can call yourself a video social networking guru too.
See you on the Net