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On Slashdot Video, We Hear You Loud and Clear 263

Posted by timothy
from the what've-you-got-against-synergystic-deliverables? dept.
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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On Slashdot Video, We Hear You Loud and Clear

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  • by Eponymous Coward (6097) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:29PM (#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.

  • Ooyala Player? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by milbournosphere (1273186) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:29PM (#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.
  • by cpu6502 (1960974) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:31PM (#39588795)

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

  • by Ihmhi (1206036) <i_have_mental_health_issues@yahoo.com> on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:32PM (#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.

  • Mod parent up! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:32PM (#39588811)

    I'd go further, though.

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

  • by qubezz (520511) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:35PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:36PM (#39588855)

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

    Sincerely,
    Everyone.

  • by spire3661 (1038968) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:36PM (#39588857) Journal
    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.
  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:42PM (#39588931) Homepage Journal

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

  • Transcripts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by eternaldoctorwho (2563923) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:43PM (#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!

  • why at all? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tom (822) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:43PM (#39588939) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by CAIMLAS (41445) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:44PM (#39588941) Homepage

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

  • by BigT (70780) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:48PM (#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.

  • by LMacG (118321) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:51PM (#39589051) Journal

    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.

  • by Sepultura (150245) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:54PM (#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?

  • by TheSpoom (715771) <slashdot@@@uberm00...net> on Thursday April 05, 2012 @02:56PM (#39589125) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by kiwimate (458274) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @03:06PM (#39589275) Journal

    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.

  • by porksauce (1302059) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @03:42PM (#39589805)
    The problem with the Plantronics video is there was no news, no interesting thought-provoking topic to discuss or debate. And no obvious warning that would be the case beforehand. With your text articles, usually there's something new and interesting or it doesn't get posted. Maybe if you had the same selection process from many submitted videos and were picking only the best ones, applying the same criteria which should basically be: "Are our readers going to find this interesting?" Maybe you're trying too hard to post videos so you're not being choosy enough about what gets posted?

    It is surprising that you weren't paid for the Plantronics video, because why else would you do it?

    Here are some video suggestions:
    1. Interview Darl McBride and ask him what his deal is.
    2. Interview rms on any number of subjects.
    3. When a version of Unity or Gnome shell comes out, do a quick video demo of it followed by comments from someone on the dev team explaining the rationale, and also someone who hates it venting about how much it sucks.
    4. Interview former senator Dodd about the future of copyright
    5. Interview some scientists about the Higgs boson.
    6. Interview Sergei Brin about privacy.
    7. Robots fighting.
    8. Bruce Schneier about TSA

    I think you have a strong enough readership of an influential community to get those folks to talk to you. Do a bunch of them and don't post the ones that suck. I bet the Google people read this site and would like the opportunity to talk about privacy.

    Actually, thinking about it, you could stage debates and make it a very big deal. Like invite people from Canonical, GNOME team, and some XFCE zealots to fight it out. That sort of stuff video is great because there's a lot of passion and controversy. And I'm sure people here would give you lots of other great ideas for topics if you did a poll.

    Another idea is to run a contest for best video on a specific topic. Like the next time the old question of how best to destroy old drives comes up, give away a prize to the best video submitted and then post it.

    Anyway, have fun. And worst case if you find yourself posting another video like the Plantronics one, please ask them for at least a little money so it makes more sense.

  • by atriusofbricia (686672) on Thursday April 05, 2012 @04:05PM (#39590155) Journal

    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.

    This, this right here. If a video/"story" reads like an advertisement, then it is going to be interpreted as one no matter what. The Plantronics one is a perfect example of that. "Here, look at this thing that will make your life easier and this is why! Also, buy from us!"

    If one saw that anywhere else, what would one think it was? A deeply thoughtful article, or a paid-to-place advertisement? Right or wrong, the impression is buried deeply, no?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2012 @04:13PM (#39590289)

    Since we can't rate posts higher than +5, I'm going to post another one backing it up just so it can also get a +5 (anonymously to avoid being accused of trolling for karma). You can read that as a +10.

    When showing cool, new tech, think Nova, not Extreme Machines. Science, not gadget porn.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2012 @05:02PM (#39591029)

    your reviewer got paid with a wink and a low cut shirt.

    You say it as though there's something wrong with that.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 05, 2012 @08:18PM (#39592999)

    I blame geeknet more than anything. Public company made up of companies started by smart people, many of whom leave after the buyout.

    I just thought of the best headline...

    What should we replace slashdot with?

    :-)

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