Captivating Channel 9 videos

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There’s a new blogging concept in town–Channel 9 from Microsoft.

Larry O’Brien was challenging whether over time he’d actually watch the videos given the inconvenience of waiting for a video to load and/or watch. Jonathan passed along a tip on how to actually speed up the video without too much distortion in the pitch. Larry isn’t convinced that this will make a difference to him watching Channel 9. Although, it’s interesting to listen to the video this way, I’m not sure if it helps that much either.

I wonder if an RSS “video feed” that pulls down thumbnail overviews into a desktop sidebar would make a difference here? Imagine that thumbnails with a textual overview display round robin on the side of the screen. If you see one that’s interesting, you click on it to watch. The blog would become the archive but the primary entry point would be off of the RSS feed.

Overall, I like the concept of the informal interviews on Channel 9. The video interviews add a personal touch. And simple is good, but I see plenty of room for creativity here. On the practical side, what about some pull quotes on the edge of the video box that I can click on which jump me right to that part of the video? The more provocative the better. Quotes/summaries that grab my attention as I textually scan the page trying to decide if I want to watch a particular video or not.

More broadly, I guess I’d suggest exploiting the fact that you have moving video here. Talking heads are OK–especially when I’m very interested in what’s being said–but I’ll admit I’d probably watch more if there’s something interesting to see. Corporate style videos would be OK, but I’d suggest creating something unique. Think Media Lab. Think Apple.

Also, don’t forget PhotoStory. It’s a great way to bring together photos in an interesting way.

Another route: show energy–walk around, put something in peoples’ hands that they show, chase down someone and ask them some questions, or show it’s 2AM at night, developers in sleeping bags, testing new patches to avoid a new exploit, and then share how they do it. Maybe this example is too campy, but I imagine there’s plenty of visually interesting things to show which have plenty of personality and give some real insight inon Microsoft philosophy and the people within it. In general, all of this requires more work and editing, but I’m not sure if in the long run it’d be all that interesting without either extremely strong content or yep–more video editing work. Hmm. Maybe I’m too MTV.