Valleywagger attempts to assassinate blogs; social networking and microblogging is where it’s at

Paul Boutin — “Very Special Correspondent” at Valleywag — has written what I can only assume is linkbait over at WIRED Magazine. It’s working, anyway.

While I don’t disagree with some of his opening words, I do take issue with his black-and-white stance: that blogging is dead and microblogging (or whatever Boutin might call it, given that “blogging” itself is now a dirty word) is the way forward — linked in to social networks like Facebook.

“Thinking about launching your own blog? Here’s some friendly advice: Don’t. And if you’ve already got one, pull the plug.

Writing a weblog today isn’t the bright idea it was four years ago. The blogosphere, once a freshwater oasis of folksy self-expression and clever thought, has been flooded by a tsunami of paid bilge. Cut-rate journalists and underground marketing campaigns now drown out the authentic voices of amateur wordsmiths. It’s almost impossible to get noticed, except by hecklers. And why bother? The time it takes to craft sharp, witty blog prose is better spent expressing yourself on Flickr, Facebook, or Twitter.”

Clearly this is only one opinion of many, but because Boutin has been granted a very public soapbox at WIRED, he’s making the most of it. Others believe that blogging is a vital part of corporate branding, while Six Apart’s leader reckons blogging will ride the economic downturn. [Read more…]

How Long Are You Willing to Listen or Watch Blog Content?

stopwatch

Lately, video and podcasting blogs are making a huge inroad in popularity. A common question I’m asked at workshops and speaker gigs is how long a podcast or blog video should be.

I thought I knew the answer: thirty minutes. That is what works for me. An hour long program means that I typically have to pay attention to it in two sections since I rarely have that much free time in one chunk. But that’s not the answer I got from those I talked to.

Most people have told me that they enjoy 45 to 60 minute shows on their favorite blogs with multimedia. They listen to them while driving, running, jogging, exercising, and working, and a few even while relaxing instead of spending time with television.

But what about you? How long is long enough for you for a podcast or blog video? Are you willing to listen to a podcast longer than watch a video? Or the reverse?

If you are a podcaster or video blogger, have you found some trends in time lengths that work best for you and your blog?

Captions Coming to YouTube

youtubecaptions.jpg

Great news for video publishers that want to expand their possible viewership on YourTube videos, now you can add captions to your videos. From the official blog:

You can add captions to one of your videos by uploading a closed caption file using the “Captions and Subtitles” menu on the editing page. To add several captions to a video, simply upload multiple files. If you want to include foreign subtitles in multiple languages, upload a separate file for each language.

BBC, CNET, MIT, and Japanese anime publisher Gonzodoga are among the partners mentioned in said blog post. [Read more…]

12seconds.tv Release API, I’m Still Not Convinced

12seconds.gif

12seconds.tv is something of a Twitter for video. The site lets you share videos of up to 12 seconds length, which by itself is something of a challenge. Personally, I’m not convinced, I just don’t see why I should use the service.

That hasn’t stopped it from releasing an API, which might be what the service needs. VentureBeat writes about it, and notes that there’s already support for 12seconds.tv in TweetDeck, one of those Adobe AIR applications that lets you update numerous social web sites, like Twitter. The API, by the way, is available here.

Does 12seconds.tv have a future? What do you think?

WTF Blog Clutter: Video and Pictures

Flickr with Flash Block enabled

As part of the ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, it’s time to tackle all those videos and pictures you want to share with the world through your blog.

There are two ways of sharing video and pictures with your blog readers and friends. Only one influences your blog’s design.

Example of appropriate use of videos in a blog\'s sidebar, reflecting the blog\'s purpose.

Example of appropriate use of videos in a blog's sidebar, reflecting the blog's purpose.

Typically, pictures and videos are shared through your blog posts as part of your blog’s content. Many bloggers want to share videos and pictures through their blog’s design, typically in the blog’s ever crowded sidebar. Some even want to go so far as forcing videos to start the moment someone lands on the page with the video, a serious no-no on the web. Let the reader choose to initiate the video.
[Read more…]

Networks Come After Redlasso

Redlasso, a Website that enables users to search media broadcasts and create clips to share, has suspended its service. The service is in the midst of defending itself from copyright infringement lawsuits filed by NBC and FOX News.

All is not lost, however. Users can still use the site’s business-targeted service to track and clip content for internal use.

According to Redlasso Chief Executive Ken Hayward:

“We are very disappointed in the actions of select networks. We believe we have always acted within the law and have been respectful of the networks’ rights. They have forced our hand and are denying the blogging community access to the Redlasso platform that beneficially tracks the usage of newsworthy clips across the Web.”

Do you think bloggers should be allowed to use clips and full-length programs of shows within their posts?

Another point of contention is that RedLasso claims to split advertising revenue with producers and owners of the content. However, broadcasters appear to be unaware of any such arrangement.