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Blogtalk Downunder » Prototype one

Blogtalk Downunder
   May 19-22, Sydney

Blogtalk Downunder

Prototype one

The first prototype developed for this paper consists of a simple QuickTime movie that contains three sprite tracks. Within this specific work the interaction is very simple, as the video plays (the content is me talking to camera about being able to quote networked artefacts in online video) time based links appear which, when clicked, pause the video and launch their relevant urls in new browser windows.

The thumbnails are derived from the web pages that are mentioned in the commentary, and have two ’states’. The first is when they first appear in the timeline, which coincides with their mention in my commentary. Prior to this point the user is not aware of their presence, and they don’t actually exist in the video - they are literally time based. (As a consequence this also means that the user does not know how many might appear.) During their first appearance, and while their context is relevant to what is being discussed in the video, clicking on the sprite will pause the commentary and load the target url in a new browser window.

The second state occurs after the link to the external site is no longer relevant to the commentary as something else is being discussed. Clicking the the thumbnail at this point returns the video playhead to the moment in the discussion where that particular external reference is first mentioned, giving the user the opportunity to retrieve the context of the quote in terms of the commentary. Again, clicking during this interval will pause the commentary and load the reference URL into a new browser window.

Clicking at this point could have simply paused the video, as in the first instance, and loaded the reference URL into a browser window, however a decision was made that the context in which the quote was made should take precedence over simply following the link. This is the case in print citation, from which this is more or less derived, since in print the source of a quotation (for example citation details in a footnote or bibliography) are always offered in the context of the original quotation - the quoted object is always intimately linked in its local context to its source. In print you cannot avoid the context in which the cited material exists, where context means the other material (let’s say text) that surrounds the quoted material. In effect the same principle is being applied here, so that the context of quotation is always recoverable.

This first prototype demonstrates that links within video can have such a level of granularity - the links can apply to discrete parts of the image, much like an imagemap, and they can be time based where their behaviour may vary over time. Such granularity within video is fundamental to any conception of video that is to be blog like, and assists us in beginning to conceive of possible models for how such a video practice may operate. For example, while this prototype provides a simple visual mechanism by which we can identify the presence of links, and make them available, it does not indicate the destination URL, and lacks many of the basic qualities utilised in a blog, for example a post title (whether of the videoblog prototype or of the linked URLs), URL, date or time information or even where in the video the links appear - the user must view the video, or use the scrub bar, to find the location of any links within the work. Finally, this prototype specifically cites networked objects realised as URLs within a video stream, whereas the second prototype begins to explore the idea of citing video within 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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