UPDATED: To include link to the dedicated Video Player website
I thought i’d share some pilot innovation work that I have been involved in with a guy called Bill Wells from 2 dot 0.
This all started from a conversation over lunch we had earlier this year.
The basic idea was that in my previous role as Corporate Web Manager, we always had conversations with people about video hosting options along side a video player tailored specifically for the local authority. Not a unique problem, in fact quite a common one i imagine. However the issue for me was that i couldn’t justify the costs associated with video storage solutions when sites like youtube, vimeo, blip etc offer pretty good solutions either free or very low cost. The other issue was that as a local authority it is unlikely that we are going to spend thousands of pounds on the creation of new video content regardless of the quality due to capacity and skills.
So the conversation went on for a good hour or so and ended up with me basically asking for a solution that did the following:
What i’d like is a player which has the ability to pull content from any source, youtube or vimeo or a traditional video storage platform – I’d also like to add value by providing a feature that allowed me to layer content, questions etc over the top to gain additional benefit from the original content. I’d like to be in a position to reuse our existing video archives and repurpose them, or use other public material from either central government or other local authorities providing the content was reusable”
I was keen early on to see how this could benefit and enhance the digital engagement offering as we could reuse community created content and layer questions over the top to gain some additional targeted feedback whilst someone was watching the video itself, instead of after the event.
So let me share what the early beta product looks like and how it might fit within a local authority situation.
Firstly it is worth checking out the original video offering that i suggested – a video created by our road safety team on biker safety called “a day out in Devon”. The original youtube video is below:
NB: if you can’t watch youtube on your machine or via your network you will not be able to view either video.
Now as this is in beta, it isn’t yet available for embedding in other sites (to my knowledge). But this is the version which contains a number of questions at particular points as well as a scrolling “news” item which could be fed dynamically from the corporate site. It is important to remember that this player is pulling the content directly from youtube when viewed and is simply providing a container for questions and feedback collection.
Below i a couple of screen shots of the video with a question displayed over the original video. (click on image to enlarge)
The following image explains the concept visually – it is also available as click through on the video at 1minute 17seconds in. (click on image to enlarge)
To see the video and questions in action, check out the link below.
What we get at this point time is the data submitted by those who watch the video – This is complimentary to the “comments” section within youtube which could contain generic feedback and observations which could in fact drive the questions in the first place.
What is also interesting and in my opinion probably the killer application, is the statistics side – What we are able to see is the actual behaviour of the viewer. So we can identify whether or not someone watched the whole video, part of it or none of it. We are also able to tell whether or not they paused the video and when and layered with the questions, we can start to understand when in a video a good time to ask questions might actually be.
The following image is a graph from a single film view (click to enlarge).
- Green – 45 degree lines – normal play
- Yellow – vertical – fast forward
- Blue – horizontal – pause
- Horizontal axis – real time
- Vertical axis – time within the film.
- Content watched summary on the right – green = watched
In its simplest form it adds value to existing content as it allows the owner to obtain additional statistics and seek specific feedback about particular parts of a given video.
I’m not a sales person, nor do i have any personal or vested interest in this succeeding, however I do personally see many opportunities within the public sector for this and i’m not going to pretend i know your business and tell you how you could gain value, but what i will say is, if you have video stored somewhere and you want to know how to gain extra value out of it now, this is something you should explore.
I’m probably not doing this any justice at all, but it isn’t my role to sell this, i am simply sharing something which i am personally quite excited about and can see this transforming how local government and the public sector use video content online to gain feedback and engage with people.
I’m going to continue to look at how this can be integrated into some of our digital engagement offering, but at the moment we are still in the early stages and as such don’t have any real life “live” examples. Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, i’d be interested to hear what you think of this idea.
UPDATED 10th February 2010 – 2 dot 0 now have a dedicated website for this video player.