Mulling over the OU’s OULearn pages on Youtube a week or two ago, colleague Bernie Clark pointed out to me how the links from the OU clip descriptions could be rather hit or miss:
Via @lauradee, I see that the OU has a new offering on YouTube.com/edu is far more supportive of links to related content, links that can represent the start of a learning journey through OU educational – and commentary – content on the OU website.
Here’s a way in to the first bit of OU content that seems to have appeared:
This links through to a playlist page with a couple of different sorts of opportunity for linking to resources collated at the “Course materials” or “Lecture materials” level:
(The language gives something away, I think, about the expectation of what sort of content is likely to be uploaded here…)
So here, for example, are links at the level of the course/playlist:
And here are links associated with each
lecture, erm, clip:
In this first example, several types of content are being linked to, although from the link itself it’s not immediately obvious what sort of resource a link points to? For example, some of the links lead through to course units on OpenLearn/Learning Zone:
Others link through to “articles” posted on the OpenLearn “news” site (I’m not ever really sure how to refer to that site, or the content posts that appear on it?)
The placing of content links into the Assignments and Others tabs always seems a little arbitrary to me from this single example, but I suspect that when a few more lists have been posted some sort of feeling about what sorts of resources should go where (i.e. what folk might expect by “Assignment” or “Other” resource links). If there’s enough traffic generated through these links, a bit of A/B testing might even be in order relating to the positioning of links within tabs and the behaviour of students once they click through (assuming you can track which link they clicked through, of course…)?
The transcript link is unambiguous though! And, in this case at least), resolves to a PDF hosted somewhere on the OU podcasts/media filestore:
(I’m not sure if caption files are also available?)
Anyway – it’ll be interesting to hear back about whether this enriched linking experience drives more traffic to the OpenLearn resources, as well as whether the positioning of links in the different tab areas has any effect on engagement with materials following a click…
And as far as the linkage itself goes, I’m wondering: how are the links to OpenLearn course units and articles generated/identified, and are those links captured in one of the data.open.ac.uk stores? Or is the process that manages what resource links get associated with lists and list items on Youtube/edu one that doesn’t leave (or readily support the automated creation of) public data traces?
PS How much (if any( of the linked resource goodness is grabbable via the Youtube API, I wonder? If anyone finds out before me, please post details in the comments below:-)
Don’tcha just love it when a complementary posts happen along within a day or two of each other? Earlier this week, Martin posted on the topic of Academic output as collateral damage suggested that “you can view higher education as a long tail content production system. And if you are producing this stuff as a by-product of what you do anyway then a host of new possibilities open up. You can embrace unpredictability”.
And then today, other Martin comes along with a post – Presentation: Twitter for in-class voting and more for ESTICT SIG – linking to a recording of a presentation he gave yesterday, but one that includes twitter backchannel captions from the presentation that were tweeted by the presentation that in turn itself, as well as the (potentially extended/remote) audience.
Brilliant… I love it…I’m pretty much lost for words…
What we have here, then, is the opening salvo in a presentation capture and amplification strategy where the side effects of the presentation create a legacy in several different dimensions – an audio-visual record, for after the fact; a presentation that announces it’s own state to a potentially remote Twitter audience, and that in turn can drive backchannel activity; a recording of the backchannel, overlaid as captions on the video recording; and a search index that provides timecoded results from a search based on the backchannel and the tweets broadcast by the presentation itself. (If nothing else, capturing just the tweets from the presentation provides a way of deep searching in time into the presentation).
Amazing… just amazing…
The OU’s VC, Martin Bean, gave the opening keynote, and I have to admit it really did make me feel that the OU is the best place for me to be working at the moment :-)
… though maybe after embedding that, my days are numbered…? Err…
Anyway, I feel like I’ve not really been keeping up with other Martin’s efforts, so here’s a quick hack a placemarker/waypoint in one of the directions I think the captioning could go – deep search linking into video streams (where deep linking is possible).
Rather than search the content, we’re going to filter captions for a particular video, in this case the twitter caption file from Martin (other, other Martin?!) Bean’s #JISC10 opening keynote. The pipework is simple – grab the URL of the caption file and a “search” term, parse the captions into a feed with one item per caption, then filter on the caption content. I added a little Regular Expression block just to give a hint as to how you might generate a deeplink into content based around the tart time of the caption:
You can find the pipe here: Twitter caption search
One thing to note is that it may take some time for someone to tweet what someone has said. If we had a transcript caption file (i.e. a timecoded transcript of the presentation) we might be able to work out the “mean time to tweet” for a particular event/twitterer, in which case we could backdate timestamps to guess the actual point in the video that a person was tweeting about. (I looked at using auto-genearated transcript files from Youtube to trial this, but at the current time, they’re rubbish. That said, voice search on my phone was rubbish a year ago, but by Christmas it was working pretty well, so the Goog’s algorithms learn quickly, especially where error signals are available. So bear in mind that if you do post videos to Youtube, and you can upload a caption file, as well as helping viewers, you’ll also be helping train Google’s auto-transcription service (because it’ll be able to compare the result of auto-transcription with your captions file…. If you’re the Goog, there are machine learning/supervised learning cribs everywhere!))
(Just by the by, I also wonder if we could colour code captions to identify in a different colour tweets that refer to the content of an earlier tweet/backchannel content, rather than the foreground content of the speaker?)
Unfortunately, caption files on Youtube, which does support deep time links into videos, only appear to be available to video owners (Youtube API: Captions), so I can’t do a demo with Youtube content… and I so should be doing other things that I don’t have the time right now to look at what would be required deeplinking elsewhere…:-(
PS The captioner tool can be found here: http://www.rsc-ne-scotland.org.uk/mashe/ititle/
Martin Hawksey, whose work this is, has described the evolution of the app in a series of several posts here: http://www.rsc-ne-scotland.org.uk/mashe/?s=twitter+subtitles
It is said that “fortune favours the prepared mind”, or at least the mildy obsessing one, so when I saw @danbri’s post on Local Video for Local People and realised that it was trivial to get hold of geocoded Youtube videos within a certain distance of a specified location using the following Youtube API call:
it was immediately obviously that this could be used to provide a local (and optionally topical) feed of Youtube videos to populate a hyperlocal DeliTV video channel for watching on Boxee.
So here it is, my DeliTV Local pipe.
And here’s the front end:
To view the channel in Boxee, enter a location, and optionally a topic, and then either:
– run the pipe, and subscribe to the RSS feed directly in Boxee;
– bookmark the URI of the pipe. Enter the URI in you browser location bar according to the following pattern:
http://pipes.yahoo.com/ouseful/delitv_local?l=required,location&q=optional search terms
hit return, check the location and optional search terms are correct and the pipe is giving a plausible output, and then bookmark that page to a DeliTV tag on delicious. (WHen you bookmark the pag, any spacesin your search terms should be replaced by %20. So the above would be bookmarked containing the characters optional%20search%20terms). If you then subscribe to that DeliTV channel via a DeliTV pipe that you have hooked up to your Boxee account, you will be able to watch the channel through Boxee.
So for example, here’s my ‘Hovercrafts” channel for Ryde on the Isle of WIght:
(Hmm, I wonder, should these be sorted by relevance or recency? I think the default is relevance?)
If you want to define a variety of different topic channels around a particular location, or a set of channels on the same topic from different locations, bookmark each channel to delicious and subscribe to them all through the same DeliTV pipe :-)
One of the easiest ways to get started with DeliTV is to use it to watch video feed subscription from YouTube.
With DeliTV, you can bookmark the following sorts of Youtube content and then view it in a DeliTV Channel:
|Bookmarked YouTube page||Resulting DeliTV subscription|
e.g Teachers’ TV channel
|Recently uploaded videos for that user|
|Playlist page e.g T151: 3D Geo-World Demos||Playlist feed|
|Video page e.g The Machine is Us/ing Us (Final Version)||Single video|
|[NEW] Search results page e.g Search for “formula one”||Search results containing 20 most relevant videos|
Here is the example channel bookmarked to a demo DeliTV channel guide: delitv_ytdemo:
(You can of course grab a copy of any of these bookmarks into your own delicious account.)
We can now bookmark this channel guide so that it appears in a DeliTV multiplex. In the following example, I’m bookmarking it to my main delitv feed, and also to the boxeetest5 multiplex.
Here’s the result in my boxeetest5 feed:
And here’s a view of the delitv_ytdemo channel guide:
This is what the bookmarked user/channel produces – the recent uploads listing for that user/channel:
And here’s the playlist guide:
Remember, with DeliTV you don’t need to bookmark the actual Youtbe feed – just bookmark the user/channel, playlist or video page to Delicious, and DeliTV will do the rest for you…
To learn how to subscribe to your own DeliTV channel, see Deli TV – Personally Programmed Social Television Channels on Boxee: Prototype
PS a new feature, currently in testing, lets you bookmark a search results page. Whilst it is possible to generate searches for playlist or users/channels as well as videos, DeliTV currently returns just the 20 most relevant Youtube videos when a Youtube search results page is bookamarked.
[Please note, this post originally went out under the title of “Delicious TV”, which happens to be a trademarked “property”. If you’re looking for delicioustv.com (is their DTV identifier also trademarked, I wonder?, which serves up the Totally Vegetarian public television show, you ned to go here. Sorry about that… ]
On of the things that I wanted to explore in the Digital Worlds online short course (T151 Digital worlds: designing games, creating alternative realities – registrations now open for October 2009 start;-) was how we might use Youtube video playlists as a way of pointing students towards an optional set of third party based video resources that could illustrate the various topics contained within the course. Here’s my first attempt how we might deliver such a service using Boxee…
On the original Digital Worlds uncourse blog I explored various ways of using Splashcast to provide a single point of access to video content. In part based on that, I came up with an ad hoc set of requirements for handling video content in a relaxed way;-)
– a browser based or multiplatform delivery interface that would allows users to watch video compilations on a TV/large screen in lean back mode;
– a way of curating content and generating hierarchical playlists in which a course could have a set of topics, and each topic could contain one or more videos or video playlists. Ideally, playlists should be able to contain other playlists.
As a precursor to this, I had a little tinker with Boxee last week to produce a UK HEI Boxee Channel. The recipe was quite simple, and using a list of UK HEI user pages on Youtube generated a channel on Boxee that would let you browse the recent uploads from each HEI.
The list of HEI Youtube pages was originally scraped from a table on a third party web page, but in a comment to the original post I also demonstrated how the recipe could also be used to create a Boxee channel feed from a delicious bookmark list. In particular, I linked to a channel of UK Media Youtube channels, a channel of UK Government Youtube channels and a channel on differential quations built up from separate OER playlists on Youtube. To view the channels in Boxee, grab the RSS feed from the appropriate channel pipe and then subscribe to it in Boxee as a video content feed.
Can you see where we might go with that approach? That is, with this: I also demonstrated how the recipe could also be used to create a Boxee channel feed from a delicious bookmark list…
Delicious TV Deli TV
How about using delicious as a way of curating video playlists and viewing them in Boxee? This would offer quite a large amount of flexibility: if a playlist was based on a tag feed, users could generate many different playlists; if a playlist could contain another (delicious) playlist, one user could build their own playlists that contained nested playlists (e.g. a course playlist could contain separate topic playlists, or a separate playlist for each week of the course) or even other peoples’ playlists; ‘live’ playlists could be copied from one user to another – that is, if my playlist bookmarked one of your playlists, any changes you made to that playlist would show up whenever I watched your channel; and so on…
So here it is –
Delicious TV Deli TV:
Here’s what’s on one of my channels:
You may notice that the channel contains the following separate sorts of content:
– programmes listed in a BBC iPlayer category feed (e.g. BBC Satire);
– a podcast feed (Wiley and Downes in Discussion);
– a particular Youtube videos (New Model Army);
– a Youtube Playlist (MIT differential equations);
– recently uploaded videos to a particular user’s Youtube channel (the Guardian)l
– another Delicious TV playlist (psychemedia’s bookmarks).
(Not shown is a link to a particular programme on iPlayer, but that is also supported.)
So here’s how that channel was programmed:
Simply by bookmarking links to delicious…
To get started with your own
Delicious TV Deli TV</em channel on Boxee, all you need is a Boxee account from Boxee.tv. Oh, and you’ll also need to download a Boxee client to your computer (Windows, Macs and Linux are all supported).
What next? That all depends on whether or not you have a delicious account…
If you do have an account on the delicious social bookmarking site then you will be able to programme your own Boxee channel by bookmarking programmes and playlists you your delicious account.
If you don’t have a delicious account, you can still programme a Delicious TV channel by subscribing to someone else’s delicious TV playlist in Boxee.
If you DO NOT have a delicious account:
Have a look at http://delicious.com/tag/delitv to see who’s been bookmarking
Delicious TV Deli TV content on delicious. (For example, my Delicious TV Deli TV empire is based here: http://delicious.com/psychemedia/delitv ;-)
Use the name of the user whose
Delicious TV Deli TV channel you want to subscribe to in the following URL:
So for example, my feed is at:
Subscribe to the URL in Boxee:
Now fire up your Boxee client, go to the pop-out Applications menu on the left hand side of the screen and select Video, then choose My Video Feeds:
You should now be able to view the
Delicious TV Deli TV Channel you subscribed to.
If you DO have a delicious account:
The top level menu of your Boxee/
Delicious TV Deli TV channel will contain those items you have tagged delitv in delicious.
Subscribe to the following
Delicious TV Deli TV feed in Boxee:
where DELICIOUS_USERNAME is your delicious username.
At the current time, you can bookmark:
- a particular Youtube video
- a Youtube Playlist
- recently uploaded videos to a particular user’s Youtube channel (http://www.youtube.com/user/bisgovuk);
- programmes listed in a BBC iPlayer category feed
- another Delicious TV playlist
- an MP3 file
- a “podcast” playlist
If you bookmark another
Delicious TV Deli TV feed, that will be rendered as a submenu in Boxee.
You can also bookmark other peoples
Delicious TV Deli TV pages.
If you run into any problems with
Delicious TV Deli TV, please post a comment below. At the moment, Delicious TV Deli TV is very much in testing, so all feedback is welcome.
If you are outside the UK, then the BBC iPlayer links will not work for you. However, links to US based video streaming services may work for you (if you try them and they do, or don’t, please let me know via a comment below:-)
I don’t think Boxee has a mobile client, which is a shame; if anyone knows of a mobile video browser that can consume Boxee RSS feeds, please let me know… :-)
If anyone with a design flair would like to help me out with a the design for a simple homepage for
Delicious TV Deli TV, a fully blown Delicious TV Deli TV Boxee app, please get in touch… :-)
If anyone is a patent troll who claims to have already got a monopoly over this sort of thing, f**k off – it was obvious and trivial given the current state of the tech and I didn’t need (indeed, I haven’t even seen) your crappy patent, in order to figure it out…
PS so why
Delicious TV Deli TV? – So My Boxee “Delicious TV” Gets a Trademark Infringement Warning.
A week or so ago, Liz Azyan posted a list of UK HEI Youtube channels. Although not quite as polished as @liamgh et al’s OU Boxee app, I piucked up on a couple of suggestions Liam made over a pint last night about simply subscribing to an RSS feed in Boxee to roll my own UK HEI Youtube Boxee channel thing…
So here are the institutional channels:
and here’s a peek inside one of them:
This lets me watch the most recently uploaded videos to all (?) the UK HEIs’ most recent uploads to their Youtube channels, organised by institution via a lean back TV interface.
(You might be able to submenu the institutional channels/streams according to playlists they have specified, as well as tidying up things like icons/logos, maybe, but this was a 10 minute hack, rather than a half hour hack, ok?!;-)
Here’s the recipe…
1. Grab the table from Liz’s web page and create a feed from it:
2. Generate the feed URIs for the most recent uploads to each channel (in the form required by Boxe – e.g. rss://gdata.youtube.com/feeds/base/users/abertayTV/uploads?alt=rss&v=2&orderby=published):
Filter out stuff that isn’t a feed and complete the pipe:
If you now launch the Boxee app, select:
– Video Feeds (My Feeds)
– the UK HEI Youtube Videos Channel
And from there, you should be able to browse – and play – the recent uploads to all the UK HEI Youtube channels that Liz has listed.
Not that I had a niggle with my Boxe player – I could hear the audio but not see the video for any of the Youtube videos when I tried to play them. If anyone else tries out this channel and gts the same problem, please let me know and I;ll see if it’s a feed problem. Otherwise, I’ll assume it’s a local glitch…
Here’s the RSS feed URI again: “UK HEI Youtube Channels on Boxee” RSS feed
PS out of interest, if I had bid to do this as a #jiscri project, how much should I have asked for?
– planning: 10 mins chatting with Liam over a pint ysterday;
– design: <5 mins looking up Youtube API/URI patterns
– implementation:: <5 mins creating Yahoo pipe
– configuration: <5 mins subscribing to the pipe feed in Boxee
– testing: <5 mins seeing if it worked in Boxee (which it doesn’t, properly, but I’m blaming that on a local problem and trustung that it does actually work… err…?!;-)
Okay, so all told it was maybe a sub-20 minute hack rather than 5 minute one?
– documentation: (i.e. blog post) 30-45 mins, incl grabbing screenshots.
And I’m on holiday today…