Saturday, June 7, 2008

Interactive TV: YouTube Video Annotations

My husband dragged me to see Starship Troopers when it came out in 1997 and there was a scene of what media coverage would be like in the future. You would watch a news clip and click on the screen after the question "Would you like to know more?"(and yes, that really is Neil Patrick Harris, in one of his few roles between Doogie Howser MD and Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle)

In 1997, the internet was new, and there was this feeling that interactive TV was around the corner (WebTV anyone?). But it wasn't really. Yes, videos were soon embedded in web pages, with additional links to related videos. But nothing popped up in the middle of the screen during a broadcast that could be clicked for more information. (Both TiVo and Hulu kind of do this, but these generally link to ads)

Today, I was visiting Nate Dern's channel on YouTube and he had posted a Choose Your Own Adventure video series. Apparently, on June 4, YouTube announced on its blog that it had released an annotation feature to it's users, such that they could add pop up messages and links in a time and place of your choosing throughout your video.

For instance, here's a link to an interactive card trick. And here's a link to how to create annotated videos, from the card trick's producer (I'd embed these videos here, but if you do, the linking doesn't work).

For more info, visit this page about Video Annotations.

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