Features

Et Tu(be)? Getting Contextual Outside the Text Box

Written on
Aug 18, 2006 
Author
Joseph Matheny  |

It seems like everyone is jumping on the YouTube wannabe wagon nowadays. Well, everyone but me that is (*smirk*). Don’t get me wrong, I am all about community-created content. My only worry is over saturation and lack of a business plan leading to another pop that sullies the name of a good technology. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that ‘Web’ was a dirty word. (circa 2001). I think some intelligent models need to be pondered, ones that don’t ruin the content with over-monetization techniques, but reside in the real world where bandwidth and machinery and the people to manage them costs $$$.

What to do, what to do.

It seems that Monster.com has a good idea with eon.com, perhaps more of that, and how about some video sites that actually encourage quality content? I know, I know, I stepped in it when I said “quality”. But what advertiser in their right mind wants to spend money on a campaign that will result in their ads being appended to videos of 15-year old girls doing the whip cream hoochie dance to the latest bubble gum pop song of the moment? Yes mothers and fathers, your children are really doing that. There’s even a PornTube now. Imagine that (*sigh*).

Where am I going with this? To this point: contextual, relevance, targeted, inference, et al. Why isn’t it being applied to video and audio yet? You can tell me the technical reasons, but I’ve been at this video game too long. I’ve seen technologies that can handle these problems. The catch is, they’re in pieces, and they haven’t been stitched together. But isn’t that Web 2.0 is all about? Mash-it-up baby? Yes!

This is the next frontier. It’s not next decade, it’s now. All that hype we heard a few years ago about video over the wire, its arriving, now, today, so get ready. To date, the Internet has been text, text and more text. (HTML is text too). This is why Google is the leader in search. They realized the lowest common denominators of Web content and leveraged them.

But the NEXT Google will capitalize on something else. Audio, video…the world of sound and image. Just as the world of print is currently undergoing a transference process on a massive scale (about time!), the next great shovel will begin the process of loading the wires with audio and video.

And like the original search engines (Yahoo, Webcrawler, et al) that built empires on the indexing and deriving of text-based assets, the next giants will be the ones who figure out a way to easily navigate (because that’s what search really is) and return relevant bits of video and audio content. Search is what we do. It basically is the beginning point of all our endeavors. Shopping is searching, dating is searching, reading is searching, etc.

Of course, I have skipped right over the revolution being created with the scanning and OCR’ing of print, because I will write that next month. While you wait, think about the fundamental ways our relationship to the unit of information known as a ‘book’ changes when that unit becomes a table in a database.

Marketers, think about how much more you know about me when I search and copy a paragraph from one book, and then another, versus what you knew about me when I ordered those two books form Amazon. What can I do with that kind of information?

Now, apply this to video and audio.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm. *wink*





Joseph Matheny is currently Chief Technical Officer at Advaliant, Inc. Advaliant is a company that builds "targeted, intelligent, contextual" online advertising solutions. Joseph has extensive background in on-line media and one to one marketing using technology.

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