People like video

In an article on the BBC Technology News page, I read about how the British web-going public are really getting into online video:

British demand for online video sites has shot up over the past year, according to a new report.

Written by research firm Hitwise it found that UK internet traffic to video websites was up 40.7%.

YouTube is the most popular destination, followed by the BBC iPlayer and Google Video.

Which is rather interesting. I remember reading loads of blog posts – locations long forgotten, sadly – last year talking about how people couldn’t be bothered to sit and watch video, and that simple text based messages were the best way to engage an audience.

Using online video, however, is increasingly popular, and government is trying to make the most of this new channel. Downing Street has plenty of stuff going up on its YouTube channel, and DIUS’ channel has been around a while too, and was used to good effect recently as part of their Mature Students consultation.

For a list of all the (known) central government YouTubers, see Neil’s great list.

In fact, mentioning Neil at this point is rather pertinent, as his new department, BERR, have recently started a YouTube channel – BERRtube – featuring some really good content.

One such example is the collaboration between BERR and Yoosk, which saw Theo Paphitis questioning Lord Mandelson on issues raised by the public. Take this example, on the subject of bank bailouts:

What makes this video work well for me is that: it isn’t just a talking head, but an interaction between two people, both individuals are recognisable, it clearly isn’t a ‘normal’ government broadcast and it is nice and short.

Paul Canning has written a fair bit on online videos, especially their role in marketing and making them go ‘viral’. I’m not sure any of the government produced stuff is quite at the viral stage yet. But that is not to say that it isn’t of value, nor that by taking baby steps now, more exciting stuff won’t happen a little further down the line.

Latest from Stockholm

After the sheer audio/visual genius of the previous two efforts in my video diary chronicling my trip to Sweden, I thought I would do another one. As a bonus, there is another Swedish Confectionary Review at the end.

I decided to give Vimeo a go at hosting this one, rather than YouTube. Vimeo seems easy enough, but I wonder how value there is in using YouTube just because lots of people use it and most people are comfortable with how it works?

Swedish update from Dave Briggs on Vimeo.

If you ask me to stop, I will.

Hotel Yotel

I’m on my way to Stockholm, where I will be doing some social reporting and blog coaching at Cisco’s Public Sector Summit.

I’m flying from Heathrow tomorrow (Monday) morning, at 7.25am and to save myself a bit of hassle I am stopping over tonight so all I have to do is roll out of bed, onto a bus and I should be at terminal five within ten minutes.

I’m staying in the Yotel in terminal four, which specialises in, well, tiny rooms! I knew it was going to be small, but was quite shocked when I walked in the door of my ‘cabin’. I made a quick video with my Flip Ultra to demonstrate just how bijou this room is:

I must say, I have never been quite so scared of falling out of bed!


seesmic Lloyd Davies gave a great introduction to Seesmic as one of his sessions at the barcamp, and I was chuffed when he let me have an invite to the service. Now, I have done nothing with video on the web, yet, and thought that maybe getting into this cool new service would kick start me.

So what’s Seesmic? Well, it’s to YouTube what Twitter is to WordPress. Kind of the same but smaller and shorter.

It’s got another thing in common with Twitter – it’s flakey as hell.

Lloyd warned me that the interface (a gigantic job lot of Flash) is crap, but that didn’t really prepare me for how woeful it is. I record my first embarrassing attempt at a video (apologies for the poor sound, I need to sort out my webcam settings) this morning, and now, nearly 12 hours later, it still hasn’t appeared in the ‘My Videos’ page, and the people I set as folk I want to follow still don’t appear either.

But I am sticking with it for now, and will try and get into the habit of regularly putting content up on Seesmic. It might even encourage me to start adding some more traditional video content to this blog. We’ll see.