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On Slashdot Video, We Hear You Loud and Clear

timothy posted more than 2 years ago | from the what've-you-got-against-synergystic-deliverables? dept.

Bug 263

You complained; we heard you. We're making some adjustments to our ongoing experiment with video on Slashdot, and are trying to get it right. Some of the videos just haven't gelled, to put it lightly, and we know it. We're feeling out just what kinds of videos make sense here: it's a steep learning curve. So far, though, besides a few videos that nearly everyone hated, we've also seen some wacky, impressive, fun technology, and we're going to keep bringing more of it, but in what we intend to be smarter doses, here on the Slashdot home page. (A larger selection will be available on tv.slashdot.org.) We're also planning to start finding and documenting some creative means of destruction for naughty hardware; suggestions welcome. We have also heard you when it comes to improving the core Slashdot site experience and fixing bugs on site. We're working on these items, too. As always, suggestions are welcome, too, for other things worth getting on camera or publishing on Slashdot.

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263 comments

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Sodomy is as sodomy does... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588683)

Gump, meet gimp. Gimp, Gump.
 
SUCK MY BALLS, MODERATORS.
 
One less modpoint to be used to mod down a solid, controversial argument. Digg-reading liberal douchebags. Like feeding crumbs to the pigeons.

FP (-1, Offtopic)

rullywowr (1831632) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588709)

Frosty Piss!

Too late! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588723)

No saving slashtv. Just add a checkbox for it under the "exclusions" tab and call it a day.

Re:Too late! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588889)

agreed, mod points added

i know you guys wanna be famous tv/movie stars someday, but /. is not where you should get your start from

Re:Too late! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589243)

Unban Ethanol-fueled. He does a lot more for the enjoyability of your site than your TV experiment does.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Too late! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588901)

I agree with this. It appears to be the only missing option in Exclusions.

Re:Too late! (1)

bananaquackmoo (1204116) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589047)

Exactly. If they were truly listening they would have had this already.

Re:Too late! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589359)

stop the videos

Mark Advertisements as Such (5, Insightful)

Eponymous Coward (6097) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588767)

I'd like you to be honest with ads. I don't particularly have a problem with ads, but I think you could be more transparent when a story has been paid for. I really don't see any good reason to try to pretend that a story is organic when it isn't.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588787)

Go ahead and continue pretending a story is orgasmic, though.

Mod parent up! (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588811)

I'd go further, though.

Tag all the "slashvertisements" as such and allow them to be blocked.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

Naso540 (2304414) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588899)

I agree. However, one thing that is being missed is the Slashvertisements are editorial videos that have not been paid for by a 3rd party sponsor aside from what may be few second preroll. The sponsored videos are labeled that way on the TV landing page. This is a case where the content selection needs to be fixed.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (5, Informative)

Soulskill (1459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588905)

Believe it or not (and many won't), none of the videos were paid for. The thought process behind most of them has been somebody saying, "Hey, I know so-and-so at [X tech company], let's make a video about it," or "Let's send timothy to such-and-such convention."

But we understand it's hard to tell that when it's just a video about some company you may or may not have heard of. Now, is the solution to never reference any particular company in a video? People have been accusing us of slashvertising for years -- it generally just makes us chuckle, since it's so far removed from reality. If some random company -- or some person who happens to work for a company -- is doing something legitimately cool, would you want to hear about it? What about reviews? (Serious question -- a lot of people get angry when we review something, assuming it's an endorsement. Really, we're just tech nerds who like playing with new gadgets/reading new books/playing new games.)

In the meantime, we're going to try to get some science/maker videos into the mix and see how those go.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (5, Interesting)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588991)

If some random company -- or some person who happens to work for a company -- is doing something legitimately cool, would you want to hear about it?

Then why not cover several companies doing similar technologies in the the same video? That would go along way toward making it seem less like an ad.

And it really doesnt matter if it's paid or not, the coverage benefits both slashdot and the company being spotlighted.
Though OTOH, judging by the recent backlash, maybe the opposite is true.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (4, Informative)

Soulskill (1459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589263)

Several companies... that's an interesting idea, and not something we really thought about. Though then perhaps people will just think we're getting paid by each of those companies. Thanks for the suggestion.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (5, Insightful)

BigT (70780) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589015)

If you didn't get paid for that Plantronics video, you got ripped off. If we're going from a company about their products, we want to hear from techies about the inner workings of the products. Not from a PR/Marketing flack about how their "products make our lives easier". That's pretty much the definition of an ad, not news for nerds.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

Soulskill (1459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589301)

Well, I guess we got ripped off, then. As far as the inner workings of the products, would you rather see/hear about the science and engineering that went into design, or something simply explains that product (i.e. this is part X and it does Y)?

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (5, Interesting)

NighthawkFoo (16928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589349)

Deep geeky stuff please. This is News for Nerds. If you can't get into details here, then where can you?

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589409)

I'd genuinely say there's a place for both. I think the more general stuff should go into tv, or such - but the "science and engineering" level is what should end up in specific categories?

This is certainly going to need playing around to find the happy balance... but the PR "fluff" like that Plantronics disaster certainly doesn't fit.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (5, Insightful)

LMacG (118321) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589051)

How could anybody have looked at the Plantronics video and NOT thought it would come across as an advertisement? Paid or not, there was nothing in there but promotion.

I'd have thought the days or "hey, I just got a video camera, I'm going to shoot videos of everything that crosses my path" would have come and gone in the late 20th century.

Slashdot TV is not a hammer, and everything you see in the viewfinder is not a nail.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (4, Insightful)

Sepultura (150245) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589083)

If you're going to do reviews, follow the example of sites like Anandtech and review the fucking product!. Give specifics, detailed data that's more than we can get off of the product website or box. And include the positives and negatives.

So far, all the "reviews" I've seen have been saccharinely positive, even when the product has obvious issues that are evident even to those with the most basic familiarity with the technology. And most read like they've been written by professional P.R. writers. So do you really not understand how readers would view these as paid-for ads?

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589085)

What? Seriously? The Plantronics ad wasn't paid for? This is lying or gross incompetence. I don't know which one is worse.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

kaiser423 (828989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589091)

The problem is while you might think that the company/person/video is cool and cutting edge, a lot of times it isn't. I've seen a couple of companies featured that are way behind the curve in my field and not really doing anything interesting other than trying to generate press. So, it looks, talks and smells like an advertisement to me when I see those.

Be a bit more discerning than "Hey, I know so-and-so at [X tech company], let's make a video about it," because a lot of times X tech company really isn't doing anything neat or even that novel. So it really looks bad that you felt it so important to feature them in a video, but then they really aren't doing anything *that* special.

More gear-head stuff, less talking heads?

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589115)

I would believe that if the slasvertisment was balanced. For example the silly drug smuggler Scott-e-vest hoodie video was not a review at all. Timothy took it out of a box and stffed things in it for the 40 seconds he wore it.

Use the thing for at LEAST a week or two. show us how it falls apart, or how all the pockets sag after a few days, etc. Real reviews and not PR regurgitation.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

Soulskill (1459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589373)

The hoodie in particular was something that demonstrated to us the difference between how an idea is conceived versus how it is perceived. Timothy thought it'd make for a quick, silly, completely non-serious video. But our presentation of the video didn't make that clear, and people hated it.

Anyway, lesson learned -- you won't be seeing anything like that hoodie video again.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (2)

1u3hr (530656) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589129)

People have been accusing us of slashvertising for years -- it generally just makes us chuckle

"Plantronics Helps Make Remote Workers' Lives Easier". There isn't a single thing about this that doesn't scream "corporate PR". Right from the company name first word in the title.

If you really imagined you were doing a news story, you failed. And you say you didn't get paid for whoring out your reputation, and exploiting your readers? That's sad.

lot of people get angry when we review something, assuming it's an endorsement

Not if the review is really a review. Slashdot editors seem to take the cut-and-paste approach rather than fact checking. Or even spell checking.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (2)

Random2 (1412773) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589151)

It's not about the reference to a company, but to how the content is delivered. If company X is doing something cool, then it's fine to give them credit for it. What's NOT cool is to make the news article into a PR spiel about how recommending a specific product or brand. The article needs to capture that product X does this nifty thing, technical details, what other people are doing with it, and other nerdy stuff. Although this is a news site, we're not looking for a carefully worded hype articles, but just technically cool stuff. Also, look for articles with neutral wording and assessments of a variety of products and ideas, that way it minimizes the ties to a specific company or product.

Maker is a good illustration about what I mean. These videos will (ideally) show people doing cool things with a device, not talking bout a product that they're selling nor giving hype from Maker's employees. As a counter-example, the article about telecommuting would be a 'blatant' slashvertisement because it was about a specific company's product and was given by their PR officer. It's hard to take an article like that as anything other than a PR grab because of some blatant conflicts of interest in the speaker's presentation.

I totally believe that. (2)

khasim (1285) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589161)

Believe it or not (and many won't), none of the videos were paid for.

Why wouldn't anyone believe that? Just because they seem to focus less on the tech and more on the commercial product of a specific company?

People have been accusing us of slashvertising for years -- it generally just makes us chuckle, since it's so far removed from reality.

See? If we laugh then it means that you were wrong. Because otherwise we wouldn't laugh, would we?

If some random company -- or some person who happens to work for a company -- is doing something legitimately cool, would you want to hear about it?

Is it something that other companies and other people are ALSO doing?

Let's see a video about the cool new features of The Ford Motor Company's newest, coolest truck, the 2012 Ford Explorer (tm) named North American Truck of the Year in 2011.

That is an advertisement.
A video about blue tooth in cars now is an article.

Really, we're just tech nerds who like playing with new gadgets/reading new books/playing new games.

Then you have to be aware that people will try to use you for advertising. Whether they pay in cash or toys or whatever.

What about reviews?

If you do them correctly. What good is a single review of a single product in a single class? That is an advertisement for that product.

In order for it to be a review you would have to compare it to previously reviewed products by other vendors in the same class.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589211)

I was forced to use Plantronics headsets for 10 and 1/2 years while I worked for GTE/Verizon. They were the most uncomfortable pieces of trash I'd ever been forced to don. My revulsion for the company is such that I saw the word "Plantronics" in the headline and moved right on. No one can ever tell me Plantronics makes comfortable, effective, *and* useful gear *AND* actually expect me to believe them. In fact, if you've ever had to wear a Plantronics headset for 8 hours a day for even a week, you wouldn't believe anything anyone who is pro-Plantronics has to say. If I never have to hear of that company again EVER, it'll be too soon and I still won't be able to stifle the involuntary cursing that the word "Plantronics" causes.

How apropos: captcha is "perish", which is exactly what Plantronics should do.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (5, Insightful)

kiwimate (458274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589275)

I'm guessing that anyone on Slashdot's staff who isn't totally out of touch with reality would be able to go back and take a look at that Plantronics video and say "yes, I can see how someone might come away with the impression it's a purchased spot".

People have been accusing us of slashvertising for years -- it generally just makes us chuckle, since it's so far removed from reality.

Rather than being condescending, how about taking a step back and saying, "gee, maybe there's a point here, even if it's based on a false premise"?

If some random company -- or some person who happens to work for a company -- is doing something legitimately cool, would you want to hear about it?

Well, yes. No question. Occasionally, that still happens within these hallowed pages. Not as often as it used to, but it does come across.

But that Plantronics video? I'm having a very difficult time seeing how that qualifies as legitimately cool, new, ground breaking, innovative, or, well, anything that could fairly be described as "news for nerds, stuff that matters". The summary describes the interviewee as a Plantronics PR person. Heck, read the transcript [slashdot.org] - can you seriously say there's anything of substance there? That one is just lame.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589343)

OK, fair enough. I'm going to take you at your word on this. However, it points out an interesting problem where I feel that the slashdot editors have failed, and that's in presenting stories that *seem* like advertisements, due to simply posting submissions as written without using editorial discretion to moderate the tone of the submission.

What that means is you, as editors, need to take a look at the submissions from the viewpoint of your readership, and say "Does this look like an ad?" If the answer is yes, then either fix the submission, create a new article on your own that presents a more neutral view of the item in question, or just don't post it.

Regarding "let's make a video about [X]" or "Let's send timothy to a convention", WHO CARES? You want to make videos? Fine, but either create a new site, or put them on yuotube! Frankly, I'm not interested in your opinions about gadgets or tech or anything, or what conventions you go to, or any of that stuff. You guys have one job, and that's to sort the news posts and try to make sure that they reflect the historical perspective of Slashdot: News for nerds, Stuff that matters. You already have farmed out a lot of that through the firehose, it's just insulting when you ignore the downvotes and post stuff anyway because you like it personally.

In addition, you're over-featuring a few prolific posters, and posting a lot of non-tech news. The guy who wants to put "astronaut" for his application on a ballot? That's not even worthy of being "idle". The flood of articles from Hugh Pickens is just awful, as he seems to think that anything with even the remotest whiff of a tech angle is deserving of submission, and even worse, you editors just go along with it.

I'm glad you guys at least acknowledge (finally!) the UI bugs and are working to fix. Whatever happened to slashcode? Does it even reflect the current slashdot codebase?

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (4, Insightful)

CAIMLAS (41445) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588941)

This. I've been irritated by the idiotic and poorly disguised 'slashvertisements' to the point of possibly not coming back.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588977)

Ads are fine when labeled. What I'd really like is product reviews and/or advertisements to learn what other slashdoterers think and recommend. That seems like a way Slashdot could collect money from vendors, and be interesting to readers.

Re:Mark Advertisements as Such (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589139)

Totally agreed. Geeks don't like to feel they're having adverts slipped under their noses and usually react badly. I certainly do, Slashdot has losing credibility in my eyes due to the number of (what appear to me to be) thinly veiled adverts.

The video idea isn't an instant turn-off, but I'd rather it was in keeping with the original ethos of the site - allow people to submit thier own videos (or link to others) and let the mod process promote/delete them, that's what it's there for. Saves the /. staffers a bunch of time, and you end up with videos the community actually think are important/interesting/funny.

Ooyala Player? (5, Insightful)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588769)

Since this is /., and since there was a recent news bit about Adobe releasing its last version of Flash for Linux, could you please dump the one-off flash player and switch to something supported by HTML5? Also, I'd rather not have to deal with a noScript shit-fit in order to watch these "amazing" videos.

Re:Ooyala Player? (2)

ArcRiley (737114) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589197)

Serious +1. Slashdot wins over few geeks by releasing new features using obsolete technology. I've been ignoring these videos because they're not available as HTML/5 Ogg or WebM.

Re:Ooyala Player? (2)

intok (2605693) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589357)

Exactly, we need WebM video. Flash is a dead medium and H.264 is a really bad idea.

Slashdotese to Geeklish Translation: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588773)

We're working on these items=stfu.

I can say I was there when it happened (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588791)

Way to open the gates to TROLLAPALOOZA.
Heck of a job, Timothy.

Haven't watched them. (5, Insightful)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588795)

No interest in the videos; would rather read about technology vs. watching it.

Re:Haven't watched them. (5, Insightful)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588931)

Agreed, unless there is some demonstration, like this. [youtube.com] talking heads are for illiterates.

Re:Haven't watched them. (2)

Necron69 (35644) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588947)

Seconded. I want to READ stories on Slashdot. I do not want to watch another damn video, and I fail to understand why everyone seems to want to turn the entire Internet into TV 2.0 or something. Watching a video takes vastly more of my time than reading an interesting article about something, plus the intelligence level of most online video is way lower.

- Necron69

Re:Haven't watched them. (4, Informative)

Roblimo (357) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589081)

I've suggested to The Honchos that all videos on Slashdot should have a "video" topic marker, so that those who don't want to watch any videos, period, will be able to completely ignore them.

Re:Haven't watched them. (2)

lonelytrail (1741524) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588963)

This is such a common theme, I had to comment.
Does your preference of text over multimedia mean that EVERY other person on /. has that same preference? I think emphatically not.

Just because you prefer it some way, please don't expect that to be "the way it is."

Re:Haven't watched them. (4, Informative)

asylumx (881307) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589049)

They asked for feedback, and the GP gave it. Why do you have such a problem with that?

Re:Haven't watched them. (1)

cpu6502 (1960974) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589069)

Mr. Sherlock:

No shit. ;-)

I don't like videos for the reason another person said --- takes longer than just skimming the text. Also I don't have a fast internet connection, and I'm typically downloading movies/TV shows in the background, so I don't want the overhead of a streaming video slowing things down.

Another thing I don't like is the URL games.slashdot.org. Why? Because my workplace blocks it. (I suspect the same sad fact is true for many of /.'s readers.) Changing it to something else would be appreciated. Maybe entertainment.slashdot.org?

Re:Haven't watched them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589101)

Hear hear!!! I avoid videos like the plague because it slows me down. I can scan an article for interesting/important content in less than 30 seconds. The same article translated to video takes on average 3 minuets of my life. I avoid any websites where I can't READ the information. I have plenty of friends who feel the same way. Dumb down the interface to the point it's non-intuitive, overload it with script to make it non-intuitive, and take up more of my time to get the same information. Yeah--that's really what I want.
I love multimedia for entertainment. When I'm trying to quickly assimilate content--it's the least efficient method.

Re:Haven't watched them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589235)

No interest in the videos; would rather read about technology vs. watching it.

TL;DW

Here's how you fix it (5, Insightful)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588809)

1) Don't post advertisements. Or, if you're going to, at least say they are outright. Don't try to disguise it as a story. This isn't Huffpost or Fox News, most of your readership actually has a pretty large amount of still-functioning brain cells. We can tell when you're bullshitting us.

2) I joined Slashdot... hoo, 5 years ago. Maybe longer. How is it that Slashdot actually runs slower now? Doesn't anyone consider efficiency in coding as being important anymore?

3) Add proper UTF-8 support. Add support for loads of characters. What if I want to type in Japanese or use symbols? And on that note, remove the "junk characters" filter. ASCII art is a part of Slashdot's history. Sure, people used it to make goatse, but by that same logic why not remove hyperlinking since people still link to it today? The trolls will be modded down as always. Let us have some opportunity for creativity again.

4) Lastly, take a look at your functionality. When a *free* forum suite like PHPBB - hell, when free shit like *Wordpress* has more functionality in their comment system, something is very wrong. You're a tech site. If anything you should be on the forefront on this kind of shit, not lagging behind.

Re:Here's how you fix it (4, Insightful)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588857)

Ascii art is not conversation, its mostly used to troll and annoy. We can remove it without removing the bulk of discussions, thats why its not allowed.

Re:Here's how you fix it (1, Interesting)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588927)

UTF-8? For what?

ENGLISH is the language of computer technologists around the world, even overseas. I have yet to meet a developer that doesn't speak English, despite working with HUNDREDS of people from overseas. Maybe it's a job requirement, but if so, I'm ok with that -- it's not prejudice driving the use of English, but the need for a common language of technology.

Re:Here's how you fix it (1)

ledow (319597) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589075)

Fine. Now do a Euro symbol in ASCII. So it's not actually ASCII. It's not HTML either, even if that has symbols for a lot of other things and has to be parsed to be safe. So UTF-8, especially seeing as it opens up EVERY OTHER LANGUAGE too, and lots of weird and useful mathematical symbols, is the best and easiest option to support.

Re:Here's how you fix it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589143)

There's a large part of the world that's currently not being served by technology [zerohedge.com] in part because support for their language is nonexistant. There's still 5/7ths of the world's population yet to join in the internet and to insist they learn a new language to fully participate is lunacy -- it would be much more efficient to force the existing english language speakers in the IT world in, say mandarin, after all they are on average wealthier, and have the tools availalbe to help them learn in a way those who don't speak english don't.

We are beginning to see this with the best websites for electronic components being in chinese only - those wishing for a single 'common' language should be careful what they wish for.

Re:Here's how you fix it (2)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589403)

3) Add proper UTF-8 support

Agreed, but add it carefully. If you need to ask why, go look at The Daily WTF's tag cloud [thedailywtf.com] . Once you get over trying to figure out what the first two are, keep reading until you get to the upside-down and backwards ones.

Poor Advertisement (1)

HawaiianToast (618430) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588835)

The last time I made the mistake of clicking on one of these new Slashdot videos, the video was preceded by a several minute long ad on some ridiculous alternative/new-age treatment. Ignoring the ridiculous length of it (any video ad longer than 10 sec and I'm out...), who thought that was relevant to science/tech/nerds?

Re:Poor Advertisement (1)

Soulskill (1459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588987)

Sorry. I'll ask our ad department for some more appropriate pre-roll ads, but it's not something editorial has any control over.

Re:Poor Advertisement (2)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589169)

IF a pre-roll ad is more than 10 seconds in length you will lose 50% of your viewers. your ad department needs to understand that. 5 second blipverts would be more effective.

Re:Poor Advertisement (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589311)

might i suggest then FIRING your ad department and getting ad folks that understand that ads should not be longer than the content?? (and btw actually having ads that would be like USEFUL would be nifty)

When is video good? Only when text is not better. (5, Insightful)

qubezz (520511) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588837)

Many websites have started steering people to video versions of news stories. This is quite irritating, because the video content is mostly irrelevant b-roll footage, and the narrator ploddingly reads two paragraphs in three minutes. Three minutes for a news story that I could have read and comprehended in 10 seconds.

Unless there are mentos and soda, video is not needed.

Re:When is video good? Only when text is not bette (2)

Daniel_Staal (609844) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589011)

To add to the above: And I may not be in a position to watch a video at the time I find the article, even if I had the time to do so.

I am aware that some people prefer talking heads. I have no problem with that. But if you don't provide at the very least a transcription as well, I will usually be heading elsewhere before I click 'play'.

Re:When is video good? Only when text is not bette (1)

Soulskill (1459) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589043)

We're open to suggestions, particularly of the mentos-and-soda types. And we've got some more visually-appealing ideas in the pipeline. There's been talk of breaking stuff with lasers.

Re:When is video good? Only when text is not bette (1)

moteyalpha (1228680) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589283)

Talk Podblack in to helping you with the presentation. http://podblack.com/ [podblack.com]

Re:When is video good? Only when text is not bette (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589339)

If people want "visually-appealing", they already can find plenty of that on YouTube...

"mentos and coke" About 18,500 results
"lasers burning stuff" About 909 results

And zillions of other related science related video can be easily found there. The Slashdot "TV" section, in its current incarnation, seems redundant to many visitors.

Re:When is video good? Only when text is not bette (1)

Simulant (528590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589255)

This. I wish you luck but I doubt I will ever watch a video on Slashdot.

Good job, Slashdot. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588855)

Thanks for always thinking of improving your service and not charging a penny.

Sincerely,
Everyone.

Re:Good job, Slashdot. (2)

chuckfirment (197857) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588895)

I enjoyed the Diablo Three beta videos yesterday.

Good job, Slashdot.

What videos? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588873)

Whenever I try to play one of these videos, nothing happens. When I disable AdBlock+, the player loads, but then I get some embarrassingly cheesy advertisement instead of the announced video. Sorry, ctrl-W.

Re:What videos? (1)

MarkGriz (520778) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589035)

Are you on FF3? Had all kinds of problems with video lately. Just updated to FF10 ESR and have had no issues since.

We've heard it said about Facebook... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588875)

But now it applies at Slashdot too... we are the product, not the customer.

Offer YouTube links! (1)

tlhIngan (30335) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588879)

Please, offer the videos on YouTube and offer up the YouTube link. Or Vimeo.

YouTube has support on practically everything networked, while both sites offer both HTML5 and Flash support (and work well on iOS).

These sites also have embed that works and do allow saving videos for later viewing.

LIstened? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588897)

Since when? If Slashdot had listened we would still have the "classic discussion system" available to those of us who never sign in. The new version is horrible even with allowances by no-script.

Proxies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39588907)

None of your videos seem to load over my authenticating squid proxy that only allows 80 and 443 outbound.

Transcripts (4, Insightful)

eternaldoctorwho (2563923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588935)

Someone else already (albeit rudely) suggested the idea of allowing for excluding SlashdotTV items from the main page. I am all for new content and features, but be sure to make them opt-in. That way, everyone can have what they want.

That said, I will repeat a previous suggestion when SlashdotTV launched. Please include full transcripts of all videos when posted either on tv.slashdot.org or on the main page as a story. Not everyone can listen to the audio, because of technical issues or hearing issues. Or like me, we are at work and cannot stop to listen to a video in an office environment.

Other than that, keep up the great job, Slashdot! And thanks for being free!

Re:Transcripts (1)

bussdriver (620565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589057)

YES! Transcripts so the literate and simply skim the text and skip the video postings. I don't like it when articles link only to videos-- then I read people's comments instead.

You only got my contribution to the hit counter out of curiosity so do not assume interest in your videos by web stats.

why at all? (5, Insightful)

Tom (822) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588939)

Have you considered that maybe the majority of /. readers simply doesn't want videos?

We came a long way with the Internet. The medium has the convenience of multimedia with the control of books. The best part of it is that I control how I consume. I can have /. open in a window to the side, or in the background. I can tab over there when something is compiling or rendering or uploading, check a story or a few comments and switch back to whatever I'm really doing at the time.

More importantly, I can ready carefully or skim over stuff. Most stories get but a glance to see if there's anything that stands out as interesting.

Videos don't work that way. They take a lot of control out of my hands. I'm a quick reader, but I can't speed up the video. I can't really skim over it the way I can with text. While I can pause and rewind, it's more work than on a written text.

Really, online videos are a step backwards in most cases. Most of the stuff on youtube doesn't really deserve a video. Two screenshots and three sentences would cover it just as well. But grabbing your smartphone camera and uploading the crap without any editing is much easier, isn't it?

You want to improve /. or move it forward? How about you listen to the criticism of the fans first and shelve any cute ideas until you have the basics covered? The editing quality on /. is as horrible as ever. Pay a couple good editors. 10 times the benefit of moving pictures.

Re:why at all? (1)

SecurityGuy (217807) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589347)

Have you considered that maybe the majority of /. readers simply doesn't want videos?

Dingdingding! We have a winner! Slashdot, you are not youtube. Don't try to be. In fact, if you REALLY want to do this, just create a slashdot channel there and be done with it. The people who want to watch your videos will. There. Not here.

Re:why at all? (1)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589395)

As such, every video - every video should have a transcript included in the post. People who don't want to (or can't) watch the video aside, what about *blind* people that can't watch the video (due to lack of plugins/permissions, not due to lack of sight d=)? No machine-readable text = no story for them.

Dump the TV and Link to Videos, etc as Needed (1)

Ron Bennett (14590) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588953)

No need for a separate "TV" section. A better approach would be to link videos, audio, etc to posted articles, as needed. And make the TV section simply a different view of articles that emphasizes / lists all attached videos.

Text based articles is what most visitors of Slashdot expect. Slashdot might as well just move the "TV" section over to a YouTube channel and be done with it.

Just Don't (1)

Tihstae (86842) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588961)

Like I said before, /. is a text medium. Leave it alone.

This isn't You Tube. When I want videos I go to You Tube. When I want pr0n, I go to a pr0n site. When I want News for Nerds I go to /.

Fark tried it, crashed and burned (1)

MetalliQaZ (539913) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588993)

Slashtdot TV looks so much like Fark TV to me. Didn't work for them either. We are here for the same old Slashdot that has been around for years. Stick to your core business. Seriously.

You can post videos. Of course you can! Just put them in the same blog-style posts as usual.

Meh (4, Interesting)

discord5 (798235) | more than 2 years ago | (#39588995)

Some of the videos just haven't gelled, to put it lightly

You mean the slashvertisments? Yeah, those are terrible. I understand that you guys want to generate additional revenue from the site, but really you've been pushing the boundaries of what some of your audience will consider as an appropriate story.

You've got a mostly technically inclined audience, and trying to sell them a "database proxy" that prevents SQL Injections will pretty much put off anyone who's done serious work in that area. You're not exactly catering to the easiest audience, but you managed to do so for the most part in the past 10 years. If you suddenly forgot how to pander to your audience, I really think you should have a look at your community and its roots and see where exactly you've lost touch.

We're also planning to start finding and documenting some creative means of destruction for naughty hardware

No, please... We've got the will it blend guy pimping his blenders, the will it fry guys with their tesla coils, and more enough kids with fireworks or hammers on youtube. Do something neat, something geeky. Do something that makes me go "Oh cool, I want to build one too" and grab my soldering iron or favourite editor of choice. Don't build a "death ray" out of a giant magnifying glass (remember that horrible story?) and burn yet another iphone/ipod. It's been done to death, and is extremely not geeky.

Transcripts! (1)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589005)

Always include a transcript.

Give us chance to skim the content in 10 seconds and decide if we want to spend the 3+ minutes to watch it in real-time.

the wrong idea's (2)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589031)

I have a sneaking suspicion that somebody just got here and think this site is digg.
even those juvenile enough wanting to watch stuff blend doesn't come to slashdot for that.

The readership of slashdot are not morons least ways not the ones that post the good stuff.

Creepy Host (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589055)

Seriously, get a host who doesn't weird people out.

Learning Curve (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589109)

For what it's worth, something with a steep learning curve means that it is learned very quickly.

Ask US what new features WE want (2)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589111)

If you're guessing, you're doing it wrong.

And yes, if you are doing a brainstorming session among the editors, without asking the readership, that's still guessing.

Re:Ask US what new features WE want (5, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589125)

And by the way, a huge percentage of us read Slashdot at work. When we're at work, we don't watch videos, for what should be obvious reasons.

BUG: Player is clipped with lower resolutions (1)

ciantic (626550) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589133)

I have 1050 pixels wide window, it is just fine for the Slashdot itself but the damned videos gets clipped from the right.

Make the player to scale by the width of the window and element around it.

Why bother? (1)

billybob_jcv (967047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589175)

It's called "the web" for a reason - put a link to the video that is posted on youtube or wherever and you're done. Really doesn't matter to me either way - I won't watch 'em...

PUT THESE UP WHEN THE TIME COMES! apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589221)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gegU39tMbW4&feature=relmfu [youtube.com]

(When "the good captain" throws his shield @ position :19 absolutely "got me" in this one... very cool!)

and

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NPoHPNeU9fc&feature=g-logo&context=G2f7c396FOAAAAAAABAA [youtube.com]

(When the Hulk catches "The Iron Man" @ position 1:44 on the youtube video control absolutely here rocked too, & started me watching these previews in fact...)

* Since they simply ROCK, & those previews are a "portent of good things to come"... soon!

(I have a feeling that this is going to be a GOOD ONE (I am on it, like "white-on-rice" come May 4th (which iirc, is going to be the release date))!

APK

P.S.=> Yea, I am "living for" this flick to come out - mainly since it astonishes me to this very day, that the stuff I read as a boy (great vocab/spelling builders for kids, & inspiration to read more also) that inspired me in many ways are becoming international film "hits" worldwide.. apk

Whoops! I meant THIS ONE for 1st video link (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589401)

Sorry, THIS is the CORRECT video url -> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkJ-xJF8N38 [youtube.com]

(THAT's when "the good captain" throws his shield @ position :19 - that absolutely "got me" in this one... very cool!)

* Sorry, wrong linkage posted in my 1st post above this one (replying to it with correction).

APK

P.S.=> Now, THAT's more like it... apk

Compare and contrast the videos (5, Interesting)

Okian Warrior (537106) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589225)

Hackaday [hackaday.com] is a tech-oriented site which includes videos in many of it's posts. In general, their videos are informative and on-point. They make the browsing experience better.

Let's compare and contrast those videos with the ones here, and see if slashdot can keep the good parts and ditch the bad parts.

Hackaday videos are generated by the people making the articles. IOW, when they make some cool gadget, they have a website describing the build and a video of the device in action. Here's the first example [hackaday.com] that I could find in a quick search. Lots and lots of other examples.

The subject matter of the cited example is rather uninteresting and techy, and it's amateurish, but the video does an excellent job of counterpointing and illustrating the text of the build.

I've seen other examples where the ideas expressed in the text are badly described or difficult to grasp, but the video makes it clear. There are also many examples of things which are just plain cool when shown as video. Lots and lots of examples.

Images are used to illuminate and express the interest and wonder of a concept, and videos should be used in the same way. Not as a medium in and of itself, but as a way to express those aspects which don't come out well in text or images.

Using them for fake advertizements is the wrong approach - there is simply no general interest in seeing advertizements, and making them into videos doesn't make them more palatable. Having a video of a person talking, expressing an opinion, or describing something is completely backwards - the description should be text, the diagrams in images, and the action in video.

If you had videos in the same vein and for the same reasons as Hackaday, it would be roundly appreciated by just about everyone.

It's like what everyone says is the problem with the RIAA and MPAA - change your business model, give the customers what they want.

We're still your customers [time.com] , right?

Video. Transcriptions. Please! (1)

iced_tea (588173) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589253)

Just have one of those nifty "click to expand for transcription" link under the videos. PLEASE! PLEASE! PLEASE! It would probably take less than 10 minutes to transcribe a 3 minute video. For people who WORK in an OFFICE, this would be essential.

I know /. TV is not going away, because you need to stay "relevant" and "hip" with all the kids with their ipad thingies, but for actual people with actual jobs, no one is going to stop and watch a video on the site.

Content wise, I remember a while back there was a guy who was firing home made rockets off on the Great Salt Flats. @#$@ YES, I want to see videos of stuff like that.

Or videos of the IIS passing in front of the sun or something. Product reviews, meh, not so much. Before you post a video, think to yourself... "IS THIS 100% BADASS enough to need a video?" If not, then it's a story. If yes, then post the video!

Thanks for soliciting feedback.

Also, if you REALLY AND TRULY don't accept money for posting review stories, please MAKE IT KNOWN THAT YOU DON'T ACCEPT MONEY FOR POSTING STORIES. I saw soulskill or someone say that the very idea makes you "chuckle". Well, 99% of the readership believes that you do this (I did until I saw soulskill's comment above), and you would be doing yourselves a favor to get some good PR out there, and fight back, explaining that you actually don't take bribes for posting stories!

Thanks for a great 10 years... here's to hoping I'm still reading in another 10 years, not watching videos about hoodies! ;-)

You are not Facebook or YouTube (1)

concealment (2447304) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589265)

You are /. We love you for being what you are. Do not let your corporate overlords re-program you. You do not need to be "fun" and clever; those people will not visit here anyway. You need to be Mecca for nerds, and you are. Don't change... just get better at doing what you do.

Fondly,
A long time user

Lots of negativity in here. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589271)

How about some ideas, instead?

  1. Get some footage of various open source authors coding. It'd be interesting to see their different programming styles.
  2. Explore cooking for geeks. What kinds of foods do Slashdotters eat and what are some interesting ways to prepare them?
  3. There are a lot of comedy podcasts getting off the ground, but none of them really deal with hacker humor. Are there any budding stand-up comics out there that want to record a set on FreeBSD or Bitcoin?
  4. Convention interviews. Anime, furry, sci-fi are all gold.

TED Talks Interactive Transcripts (1)

Flammon (4726) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589299)

TED is doing alot of things right when it comes to video so you might want to leverage some of their methods. One feature that is really nice and that would be great here is interactive transcripts. Along with that, a new markup comment tag to refer to a point in the video would be a great bonus.

Missing one important word: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39589303)

"Sorry".

Seriously, you guys are treating this like it was a technical bug when it was a basic violation of the accepted norms of the site. And it's not even so much the "transgression" factor there as the fact that the current editorial staff simply doesn't appear to understand the concept at issue here, that of basic editorial common sense to select stories that are appropriate for the site.

You might mollify a few people with bland PR-speak (though I doubt very many or by much) but you can't save your own selves with it.

Make it technical and cool (1)

CaseCrash (1120869) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589351)

I come to slashdot to learn about cool things and find that I learn quite a lot when someone who knows what they're talking about expands on the article with an in depth comment on the science or history behind the topic. For the videos, every comment is "Give me a transcript" or "This is an ad" and frankly that's because the subject matter sucks. I think it could be a great idea, but the content really needs to be better. We're all nerds here, we can handle something technical and interesting rather than PR buzz speak or "look what I can fit in my Jacket!" (really? WTF.) We already have YouTube, we don't need another.

Although what I'd really like /. to focus on is making a fucking mobile site that works. The /. demographic has a higher concentration of smart phones than the normal population and we like to use them, but slashdot looks like crap on every mobile browser I try and is hard to read without paning around all the damn time.

Also, thanks for providing me with thousands of lost work hours for free :)

Based on My Observations (1, Funny)

AmberBlackCat (829689) | more than 2 years ago | (#39589385)

If you want videos to be a hit on Slashdot, any person in the video should be a better-than-average-looking female, preferably one who isn't conservative with her clothing. All people in the video(including the one demonstrating the technology) should be shown as little as possible, unless they meet the aforementioned criteria very well. The product should be shown in action as quickly as possible to accommodate the widespread attention disorders (so many people have 4-minute videos that show the product in action for 30 seconds at the end).

If you're showing a product everybody likes anyway, less women are necessary. If you're showing a product that makes everybody wonder how the product made it on the site, more women are necessary.

Bonus points if you can find a hot East Asian girl willing to bash China.

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