Friday, May 16th, 2008

Still kinda shaky on the whole video comment thing..


I’ve been checking out Seesmic and (to a lesser extent) Disqus, and I have to say I’m not quite getting the appeal of “video conversations.” Partly that’s my own fault, since I’ve worked in broadcasting and print in one form or another for the last decade, and while I’m comfortable with feedback….I don’t really understand what the advantage is to video over regular old text comments, other than avoiding spam and actually getting to put a face to the person who you virulently disagree with. Maybe that’s the advantage…if you can see someone’s reaction, you’ll be less apt to descend into trolldom and fire off angry jeremiads to hapless commenters.

At the same time, the Internet seems to be driving people to a new level of comfort with being “on air.” I’ve never really been in that headspace, though again that could have something to do with my background in broadcasting. I’ve traditionally been a behind-the-scenes guy, whether it’s in TV or from behind a byline in a newspaper, so to put myself forward on camera has always been a difficult proposition (even though I did briefly do so on “The Lab with Leo“). Still, maybe video comments are a way to get more comfortable with the camera in a low-risk environment. It’s also early days…Twitter didn’t really prove its usefulness until a lot of people, and more to the point, a lot of people who have interesting opinions decided to jump on board. Or it could prove to be a fad and wander over into the Web 2.0 deadpile along with a bunch of other half-baked ideas. Here’s some other opinions on video commenting.

Warren Frey is a journalist, freelance writer, podcaster, video producer, and all-around media consultant currently based in Vancouver, Canada. His written work has appeared in such publications as Metro Vancouver, the Westender, Mac | Life and the Japan Times.

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