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Blogtalk Downunder » Video reception (reading)

Blogtalk Downunder
   May 19-22, Sydney

Blogtalk Downunder

Video reception (reading)

When dealing with text on a computer there appears to be little distinction made between reading and writing, consuming and authoring, in terms of its granularity and the affordances this enables. For example, if I view someone else’s blog in my web browser my browser has the ability to select text, even though this is not my content, and the software is primarily a browser. Similarly if I’m writing in my blog then I have the ability to type individual letters, copy and paste other text (from a wide variety of sources) and to apply basic formatting. It is technically trivial for me to link a passage of text to another, even where it is located on a different server.

However, once video is ‘published’ our tools for viewing this tend to maintain the integrity of the video as a discreet and whole object. There are no easy ways to select and cite video from within our browser (QuickTime Pro has this function, and it is as simple as copy and paste, but this possibility is not available via the QuickTime plugin). There are no ways to select our own video and to then provided a link to an external web resource. You can, using QuickTime’s embed tags, attach a hypertext reference to a video, so that when it is clicked upon a new web browser can open and load the associated url, but this applies to the entire video clip - it is the textual equivalent of only being able to link from an entire blog entry, and not its parts.

This is ironic, not only because of the granularity immanent to digital video, but because the architecture is perfectly capable of supporting, in the mode of reception, such activities. That our video blogging tools don’t support such activities, yet, is not because it cannot be done, but because our activities associated with video online is firmly entrenched in old media paradigms. Once published video

note: This page forms a part of a hypertext essay by Adrian Miles. The homepage for this essay is located at:
A long version of this paper (containing some but not all of the text contained in the hypertext version) is available at:

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