I’m a huge, huge, huge proponent of utilizing the power of cheap, ubiquitous video distribution online. Few things can tell a story like a person actually telling a story, I say. Given that YouTube commands more than 2 BILLION views per day and it’s possible to take a $200 video camera and upload the footage via USB to YouTube in 30 minutes or less, I can’t see why more government agencies don’t utilize it. Sure it won’t win any awards, but what a great way to give your agency a real, human face.
One of the real weaknesses of video is it’s poor ability to reach the deaf and hard-of-hearing communities and speakers of other languages. Now, I know that YouTube has the ability to add captions and subtitles to your videos, but what if you utilize other channels (to maximize your reach, obviously)?
Cory Doctorow at Boingboing.net lets us know about a tool being developed that would allow your video to carry subtitles or captions where ever it lives online:
The nonprofit Participatory Culture Foundation has just launched an amazing new tool:Universal Subtitles. As the name implies, Universal Subtitles makes it ridiculously easy to add subtitles to practically any video on the web, including any HTML5 video, FLV, YouTube, Vimeo, Blip, Dailymotion (you can add subtitles to a video without having to host it yourself, and the same subtitle file can be associated with multiple copies of the video all over the net).>
You can learn more about the effort here.