UK Web Focus

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Archive for July 7th, 2008

Experiments With Seesmic

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 7 July 2008

I recently met Alan Cann and he mentioned to me how he has been exploring the potential of the Seesmic video micro-blogging service in a learning context. This renewed my interest in the Seesmic service – so I have started to evaluable its potential to support the forthcoming IWMW 2008 event.

My intention is to post a number of short video clips prior to the event which will describe some of the things that will be taking place at the event. I will also be inviting video responses from the IWMW 2008 delegates and others who have an interest in the event.  I’ve created a page on the IWMW 2008 Web site in which the Seesmic video posts are embedded. The first video post (illustrated below) provides an introduction to the event, and further posts are planned which will describe the IWMW 2008 bar camp, the innovation competition, the IWMW 2008 social network, the plenary talks, workshop sessions and the social activities planned for our time in Aberdeen.

Use of Seesmic

But what about the limitations of the services and the risks which use of the tool may entail? After all, I’ve previously suggested that when making use of new tools we need to be honest about potential risks.

The first point to make is that, although Seesmic video clips can be embedded in other Web sites, it does not seem to be possible to export the video clips.  And from a user’s perspective we have no evidence that there will be an interest in this type of service by the intended target audience. Creating the video posts might possibly be a waste of time.

Twhirl with support for SeesmicBut despite such concerns, I will be continuing to create the video posts. Even if the video clips are not currently exportable, this could change (after all the Slideshare service did not intially allow uploaded PowerPoint files to be downloaded from the service, but a download option was subsequently added to the service). And even though it cannot be guaranteed that an export function will be provided in the future I still feel it is worth evaluating a service such as this in order to gain experiences which could be transferred to other services.

And it is very interesting to read on Rafe Needleham’s blog that Twirl will be providing support for Seesmic video posts. As can be seen from the accompanying screenshot, the textual display of ‘tweets’ can be complemented by an accompanying video. And with many laptops having cameras bundled in with them and many mobile phones now also providing video facilities, perhaps this is the next stage in the development of the communications infrastructure of what is often refererd to as Web 2.0.

I should conclude by saying that following my first few Seesmic blog posts I have received a number of interesting replies.  In particular it was suggested that there is a need to ensure that any responses to an inital video post are kept on topic – unlike text it is not easy to quickly skim a video post.  I have therefore created a general Seesmic video post which I’m happy to be used for general responses – I’ll keep any responses to the IWMW 2008 video posts to their stated purpose.

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