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Social Video

The major impediments to the creation and use of video online have, until recently, been understood to be technical, involving the high computational demands of video and its bandwidth requirements. These are no longer issues, and we have seen, in the last 5 years, an exponential explosion in the presence, role and use of video online. However, the majority of the services, platforms, protocols and uses of video online have retained an industrial model of what video is a format and media object. This has meant that in relation to video what has been emphasised is the making, dissemination and sharing of whole, singular, video objects. In this context Web 2.0 and social media systems and services have been built that have tended to place these services ‘outside’ of and around whole videos without troubling how we or what we think video as a practice, form or object might be as a genuinely digitally defined social media thing. This has possibly hindered the development of new media forms that might develop if the qualities of social media and Web 2.0 became part of the ‘inside’ of video. This paper will be a speculative investigation into what such a ’social video’ might be to propose theoretical prototypes that can then inform critical development of online video services and archives.

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Social Video

  1. 1. social video? Adrian Miles
  2. 2. social media Social media are ubiquitous, networked, mobile + sedentary, and facilitate/enable communication by producing media trails from everyday practices.
  3. 3. social media Social media are ubiquitous, networked, mobile + sedentary, and facilitate/enable communication by producing media trails from everyday practices. (Quotidian documentation is primary, media practice secondary)
  4. 4. technical qualities Technically social media exhibit the qualities of granularity, porousness, and facetted relations.
  5. 5. granularity Granularity refers to the minimal unit that offers closure. The smallest bit that makes sense, by itself. A photo (flickr), a blog post (a blog), a video (vine, lightt), some text (twitter). Social media platforms and services are highly granular — they are made up of small parts that are always sensible (intelligible) as small parts.
  6. 6. porousness Porousness refers to how the artefacts that make up social media are open to other systems, and each other. Generally social media is very porous. The individual artefacts can be joined to others (your own or someone else’s) within the specific platform. They can also be woven into other places (a flickr photo into a blog or tumblr). Things that are very granular are very porous as their scale makes them understandable and so easily shifted elsewhere.
  7. 7. facetted relations Facets are those aspects, or faces, that social media services make available to allow artefacts to be found. This is to users, the system, and other systems via things such as an API. When things are very granular, and porous, there are potentially many facets available. (Ironically, keeping things ‘small’ encourages multiple varieties of connection.)
  8. 8. wholes Taken as a whole this lets individual parts be addressable, and it allows them to be curated into different and new sorts of wholes. Here granularity is the elegant question of creating small wholes that can be collated into larger, new wholes.
  9. 9. film and video Film and video has always been porous and granular.
  10. 10. ‘social’ video Online ‘social’ video sites do NOT have these attributes. YouTube maintains the ‘show’ metaphor, so from a system point of view the minimal unit is a show (of whatever length). The same applies to other video platforms, which address issues of video hosting and provide varieties of social layers on top of these ‘shows’.
  11. 11. half a solution Recent developments such as vine and lightt address granularity by constraining things at the production end. These app based services have flipped the problem, which isn’t really a solution. However, as a social service vine is a dud, it relies completely on Twitter. Lightt did have a discoverable web service, but seems to have removed this (adopting the vine model).
  12. 12. viewing and reading Social video, currently, enables sociality around discrete objects (shows). Comments, likes, favourites. (There is the exemplary case of fan sites.) For books there is the Social Book project, where notes, highlights, and annotations around a title are collected and shared. There is the Kindle’s ability to make visible those sections that have been commonly highlighted. In the Social Book the emphasis is on the book as a site of readerly sociality.
  13. 13. a speculative list support intelligent copy and paste of video (can copy and paste, is trackable) knows which parts of a clip are the most highlighted, quoted, used makes this knowledge available allows parts to be subdivided any which way and curated into other series, elsewhere all parts, at all scales, are addressable allow parts of any scale to be linkable (shot, duration, part of a shot)