Cut To The Chase

Cut To The Chase

Organisation: Financial Times (United Kingdom)

Publication Date: 07/17/2014


Viewing video can be a passive experience that doesn’t give you much indication when you first open it what exactly is coming up. We have made video interactive by allowing people to easily show how they feel at different times during playback. The collective votes are graphed across the whole video timeline. Our tool helps people navigate videos and make the best use of their viewing time - to cut to the chase. At a glance people can see the structure of the video - where the exciting points are, what the video shows - and jump straight to that. People can rate a segment of the video up or down - to say “Yes, that’s great. I love it.” or “No, that’s awful - I totally disagree”. The chart underneath shows the number of thumbs ups and downs that the video has had at each second - the strength of feeling, the level of engagement. You can see where the contentious parts are and skip straight to them. You can use the tabs underneath which expose different topics, facilitate learning and discuss points raised with other users. At a later date, we can see this being an opportunity to refine targeted advertising - rather than just place a generic ad at the beginning of a video, you can have different/targeted ads inserted at a various points within the video. There is the option to add other content that can be more relevant than just using broad metadata to take you to a generic US economy story. You also have the option to tack on comment threads that are relevant to each section. Comments can be hard to understand without having read the thread before it or without know which part of the video is being referred to. This gives you the option to quickly dip into a conversation about the bit that interests you. Journalists sketch out the story structure for a video anyway so we’re taking advantage of the metadata that can be added to an existing plan to help viewers navigate stories. It engages the viewer, but it also helps the journalist because they are always asking themselves, “Why are we showing this?” or “Why should people care?” You as a journalist get data on what people love and hate about what you do, what excites people. Next Steps: - to create a persistent back end to collate user voting across multiple videos - to expose the source editorial metadata about segments within a video - to properly embed comments ) to integrate this into the live site as a betafeature To reach the status of a viable site-wide betafeature would require about 1 week of work.

Technologies used for this project:

Behind the scenes, this functionality is fundamentally simple: some javascript pulling in extra topic data about the video (which already exists), some user voting, and displaying that top of a youtube video. To fit in with the constraints of this hack event, we have selected one of our desktop site videos and artificially created the topic data and a set of votes for that video.
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