YouTube’s 5th birthday

YouTube is now 5 years old and has 2 billion visits a day.
To celebrate they have a page where people tell their YouTube story and some celebrity mentions.

Here is Pedro Aldomovar’s choice of favourite content.

If you are not a Spanish speaker this video will give you a chance to play with the new Captioning that YouTube has installed (to access and alter the settings you will see a little CC image on the bottom right of the video, click on it).
Google/YouTube is now closed captioning a number of videos, and also allowing users to create captioning on their or (with permission) other’s videos. This is being done for 2 reasons. Firstly, by creating captioning transcripts videos will become textually searchable by Google, thus incredibly more accessible and, secondly, because laws to make content accessible to the deaf and hard of hearing are in the offing in the US.

closed captioning on YouTube

The service is still in Beta form and many of the YouTube automatically created captions (using speech to text software) are not accurate, but it is getting there.
Closed captioning on YouTube

What does this mean for us in Australia, well as public servants we will also have to make accessibility for all Australians a priority as the Government has agreed to the WC3′s WCAG 2.0 (see http://webpublishing.agimo.gov.au/Accessibility).

So if you are a librarian putting up videos on your Library website, you had better start captioning too. As usual Google has the tools to make captioning simple and the capacity to do it online see here

Newspapers today

A new report entitled: Newspapers Today Part 2: Print & Online was published yesterday. It seeks to show that newspapers remain relevant in the digital age. But only in so far as they have digital surrogates. There remains an interest in the paper format (though it is still declining) but it seems that the digital versions are retaining the newspaper branding and allegiance.

The below graphic from the paper shows that newspapers retain high visibility as trusted brands. What it also shows incidentally is how quickly other brands such as Apple, YouTube and Google have become adopted as household brands. Google has been around (at google.com) only since 1997 but already has almost the same brand awareness as newspapers such as the SMH which has been around since 1831, which is remarkable. Consider also that YouTube is owned by Google and you get some idea of their success in becoming the mainstream reference point for information access and entertainment for Australians.

I shudder to think where Libraries would be on this scale, knowing for instance that of all searches for information (even inside a library) 97% will start with a search engine such as Google.

HTML5 – it’s coming, hopefully soon

Last call for comments on the new W3C revision of HTML5 are at: http://dev.w3.org/html5/spec/Overview.html

My goodness, I wish it would hurry up and be accepted. With HTML5 there possibly will be no more Flash nightmares with your browser, as tags for audio, video and other multimedia content are included. We are talking about a possible end to plug-ins, as we know them. Can you imagine how cool that is going to be for web developers, web users and most of all web archivists!

Google are leading the way on this, and Chrome is therefore already compliant in some HTML5 components. As Google own YouTube, it is already in Beta with its HTML5 implementation, you can try it here: http://www.youtube.com/html5. You will need to be using Chrome (or IE with an add-on) as your browser.

You may also like to check out Vimeo’s HTML5 page at: http://vimeo.com/blog:268

Here is the list of tags, new and deprecated in HTML5.

On privacy

Where do you draw the line on privacy in a social media age? In the US, there is growing concern about what kinds of information the CIA might be collecting about it’s citizens who use various social media tools. There is even a court case in the works which is seeking to encourage the US Government to disclose just what information it is collecting and how this affects a person’s right to privacy. Information shared on social media sites have been used in criminal investigations. Recently, information shared on Facebook led to the arrest of a man who made death threats aginst the son of Columbian President Alvaro Uribe.

No matter what side of the law you fall on, users need to be aware that the information they share can be accessed by a range of people and may be used in ways they never intended. Depending on how comfortable you are with the information you’re sharing, you may want to share a little or a lot … like this couple in the US who stopped mid wedding ceremony to update their Twitter and Facebook statuses. Don’t believe me? Watch the video on YouTube!

Also in the works is a new camera device which a user wears and takes a picture every 30 seconds. Read what Mashable‘s Pete Cashmore has to say on this “life logging” device and the implications for privacy and social media over at CNN.