GIDEON: So I think we’ll kick off, and if any people come in, they can mosey. My name is Gideon. Yeah, this session is called how Facebook made captioning cool. I hope you’re in the right place. This session is being transcribed as I’m standing here. So what that means is, stuff—and I think they’re audio recording this, as well. So if, at any point you want to go off the record, then you have to say, “I would like to go off the record.” And then Stanley will stop typing. And then when you say, “Back on record,” then we’ll carry on. And if you would like to identify yourself for the transcript, that’s cool, as well. Okay. So that’s kind of the housekeeping part. So just I’m going to talk you through kind of what I had planned for the session format. So there’s kind of two halves. So, yeah, let me just start by saying a little bit about myself. So my name is Gideon, I work at The Guardian, which is a newspaper in London. And right now we work on the video development team. So we’re a tiny team of two developers. But we’re embedded with the video production stuff. We make all different stuff. So The Guardian produces, like, everything from like long-form documentaries, right through to very short kind of clips and explainers that help kind of show, and having in between. And so it’s been a fun experience to get a bit closer to the production side. In terms of my kind of accessibility interest, in a past life I worked for the BBC, on something called the BBC Ouch, which is like a magazine site. And what was interesting about that was that, yeah, my producer was blind and the head of the website was blind and so we were very strict about accessibility. And so in those days, we were hand-cranking sites, and PHP files. And we were making a headers like an h2, or h3, and everything. And we had lots of accessibility standards. We transcribed all our audio and we had different color contrasted versions of our website. So that was kind of interesting but when I went to work on other things, I found out not everywhere was quite so concerned with accessibility. So I’ve tried to sort of campaign everywhere I’ve gone to try and improve things in that regard with kind of mixed success.
And one of the things that’s really hard to persuade people to do is to caption stuff. So I changed this to captioning. In the UK, they tend to call it subtitling. But in the U.S., they tend to call it closed captioning. It’s just text that describes the audio in the video. And that’s tough to persuade people to do. So I don’t know if any of you have ever had a conversation like this where—where I don’t know if you’ve ever worked on content websites, where it’s like hey, I’ve got this video, and it would be great if you captioned this for deaf people. And then there’s this kind of long pause and they’re like well, that’s a really, really great idea. And that’s really something put that we should be doing but… and there’s lots of reasons why people don’t do that. Has anybody had kind of similar experience like that? So, I see some nodding. Okay.
So yeah, so I don’t know if any of you want to share similar kinds of things at this point. But what I was kind of thinking was what was interesting is that lots and lots of captioned videos started popping up all of a sudden because Facebook and other sites started auto-playing videos with sound off. And suddenly, all those kinds of “buts” magically started to disappear and people started captioning videos. And I think it’s an interesting phenomenon. It’s not hard to research because you just open your app and you see these videos everywhere. And so it was a really interesting research that I had to do. But it’s a really interesting phenomenon, I think, and it’s kind of interesting to talk about. So I wanted to, if people are up for that, the first half of the session I’ve got some kind of examples and we’re going to kind of look critically at this new type of format, like, these kinds of silent videos and what works on those platforms and what’s special about them versus the way that people have traditionally done, like, news clips. And then the second half of the session, I was planning to do a bit more into too long. So how people are actually making the captioning, can we do that faster, can we do it more cheaply, what are some of the tools on you the there for doing that? Cool. So this is more interactive and fun. You get to watch some videos in this part. So it’s like being in a fun film studies lecture, hopefully. So I’ve invented this game. It’s called “being a social media editor.” So this was a real documentary that aired in the UK. It’s called Grayson Harry: All man. He’s often commenting on contemporary issues. So this was, like, a three-part series where he’s looking at masculinity. Different aspects of masculinity. And so I think the first episode, he looked at cage fighting, like, amateur cage fighters in the north of England. And then the second episode was about gangs and police who were also people in prison, and those, most of them all men. And then the third one, bankers. And so he visits these series of groups and then at the end makes some artwork to comment on what he’s seen. So that’s a bit of background. So I’ve found some different kinds of clips of this show and that’s the game, it’s called Be a Social Media Editor. So we’re going to watch these videos, and then afterwards, we’re going to have a couple minutes to discuss if they would work. On social media and what parts you would take and how you would edit it to make it better. So this was a trailer for the third episode about investment bankers and just to simulate the kind of Facebook stuff, I’m going to play it with sound off. So it might be a little hard work. At least you’ll kind of get that experience, and then we’ll talk about it after. And I will put these links up on the etherpad after, if you have an urge to come back and look at that. Okay. Here we go.
[ Video ]
So if you want, just take one minute and chat to the person next to you. So you have to imagine, you’re the social media editor. Is there anything that you would want to use in that footage if you wanted to make a more social clip that would work better without sound at the beginning and do you want to talk a little bit about the way that it was kind of designed. So yeah, so take a minute and we’ll kind of report back. You’ll get to watch it with sound after. It would make more sense.
PARTICIPANT: Can you replay it since there’s no sound?
GIDEON: There’s no sound, so you’re welcome to chat as you go about, yeah, what you think.
Okay. Cool. So yeah, so everyone’s had a couple of minutes. So should we just go around. And if you’ve got comments. And Annabel can write because I have very bad handwriting. So, I guess, I’m very interested in what you would use from this, and what you thought about it as a kind of start of the video. Any kind of thoughts?
PARTICIPANT: There’s no story without textual content or voices.
GIDEON: So you have no idea what’s going on?
PARTICIPANT: I take this as, like, we have a scene for like whatever you want. You don’t know what I’m talking about. It can be anything. So there’s no story to that aspect.
PARTICIPANT: Well, there is the title.
PARTICIPANT: Well, the title still tells me nothing.
PARTICIPANT: Investment bankers discuss masculinity.
PARTICIPANT: Our version of it was that either it was scheduled, or maybe mysterious. He got picked up by a helicopter to get brought to this, like, exclusive group of investment bankers based on the title. And then, like, they’re, you know, discussing some issue that’s important. I guess the title’s a suggestion. But at that point, it becomes very unclear, as soon as they get into the dialogue, I have no idea. It doesn’t seem confrontational.
PARTICIPANT: We were talking about if we were doing some a social video, we would do establishing shots and then maybe doing a shot of them getting picked up in helicopters because helicopters are cool. And then maybe a shot of them talking but we have no idea what they’re talking about.
PARTICIPANT: It seems like there’s a difference between them and him. I haven’t listened to the video yet. I’m just predicting. But maybe there’s a moment of, like, oh, cool, you have a helicopter, maybe. And then having one quote there. And then moving onto this dialogue going into this boardroom, where I assume they’re talking about their differences because look how relaxed he is compared to everyone else, that is going to be, like, here’s me, here’s you, that’s going to be two, three quotes tops. And of course, for social you have to edit it down to 30, or 40 seconds. How long is this video?
PARTICIPANT: To me, it seems like it’s trying to communicate excess, and the difference between them and the viewer. You know, so you get all of these shots of them finishing off their beers. And thousand nicely their dressed. And I might be projecting, but a smug entitlement looks on their faces. So maybe that would be preserved. But I think it kind of visually communicates what I think they’re talking about pretty well, which is you should be slightly shocked by the excess of these guys here.
GIDEON: Yeah, so one thing I—so for me this is quite typical documentary or news report stuff footage. So they’re kind of deliberate, those background shots of buildings and stuff, right? They’re not accidental but they don’t mean a lot on their own. But if you watch a lot of news reports, it’s like, here’s an apple, and people are walking through, and we’ll have people talking through. It’s pretty standard stuff. But it was pretty hard. It was pretty hard to keep your attention for three minutes watching that without sound. Now it should be much easier, many fun because we’ll watch it with sound and hopefully we’ll have other versions that would be a little bit easier as we go. So see, you’re now going to really appreciate this now with the sound. I hope this works. So yeah, let’s watch it again and we’ll see if any of your assumptions were right, or how the experience is different this time. Is the sound going to work?
[ Video ]
PARTICIPANT: I’m spending time with the man of the city of London. I want to make art about what it feels like to be a man, and what it’s still to judge from statistics, a bastion of male power. It’s a secretive world, and then they got quite caged when I raised the topic but some opened up to me. Independent city manager, Tom is based in Monaco.
PARTICIPANT: If there is a point where you think that I have enough money.
PARTICIPANT: It’s not so simply a financial mindset. I think it’s just… you know, I feel especially now like the first day I walked on to do training for London.
PARTICIPANT: On a visit to London, Tom took me for drinks Mayfair with friends, investment manager Jack, and risk manager, Hussein.
PARTICIPANT: There’s this figure of the macho, super successful, capitalist.
PARTICIPANT: That just doesn’t exist, though. That generally does not exist. Like, there’s no—it’s got a lot more—it’s got a lot more dumb.
PARTICIPANT: It’s a lot more about carefully managing what you’re doing, and making sure your clients are making money. And I’m very, very sorry to stay. Most people in the cities —
PARTICIPANT: Of course, there’s discriminatory behavior, of course, there’s discrimination. But those are small pockets of any industry. I think that that isn’t—you can’t just generalize that into the financial industry.
PARTICIPANT: The fact is that, you know, anybody flying out of London, all they see is this great big encampment of great big glass cocks POEBGDZ out of the city. And the heads of most of those things are probably men.
PARTICIPANT: Twenty, thirty years ago, that might have been the case but in especially in the last ten years, there’s been a strong change for the city, especially for women.
PARTICIPANT: The rise of women in the city. Do you think it’s changing it? Or is the culture still the same?
PARTICIPANT: The culture’s changed. Women have risen.
PARTICIPANT: Has it changed because men have been called out, or has it changed because they’ve come along and had more power?
PARTICIPANT: The role is evolving every day, so, of course, the banking industry and the finance industry goes with it. People want masculinity. I think it’s being condensed as it’s evolved.
PARTICIPANT: Condensed into what?
PARTICIPANT: We’ve devolved into this thing called sensitive masculinity.
PARTICIPANT: What do you mean? Do you kind of widen your brief on…
PARTICIPANT: I think we all have, because just masculinity isn’t enough. You need to be sensitive to other things.
GIDEON: Okay. Cool. So how was this watching this a second time?
PARTICIPANT: A lot different.
PARTICIPANT: Yeah, I feel like this one is a really translate to that format because so much of it is conversation based. It’s not something that you could pull one quote from and really get the sense of what they’re talking about at all.
PARTICIPANT: Yes, obviously, this is edited for a specific kind of type of case. And yeah, there’s other footage in the show that you don’t see. So we’ve got some other season, other kind of stuff in the show. So if you just had to rate that clip… sorry, go on.
PARTICIPANT: I was just going to say, I find this happens to me a lot of times with online video but I got the point in about 30 seconds, and then I started to zone out. So, normally, I would have hit the “X” button and moved on. But I felt they could have been a lot more concise with it with the overall point. I’m not sitting down and watching that documentary.
PARTICIPANT: I think that’s what’s so seductive about the X format, though. It’s short, and it gets you the feeling of reading an article, where you skim it, versus watching a video, and sit there, and watch the conversation unfold. The pacing feels very different.
GIDEON: Okay. If you had to rate that video for social out of ten, say…
PARTICIPANT: Social potential? That if you cut it up to 30 seconds?
GIDEON: I suppose as it stands.
As it stands.
PARTICIPANT: One or two. I think it’s just too long.
PARTICIPANT: I think it would still be a really hard one to succeed on social just because it’s more about nuance than, you know, some really straightforward storyline like the kitten gets rescued at the end. Those are easy.
GIDEON: Cool. So you’re going to see this video, too. It’s the trailer for the series, which I think was used kind of online. And because they’re constrained by likely, of how long they’re allowed to make these things. So it’s shorter, and it’s covering more ground. So if it’s all right, I’m going to do the same thing again, without sound so you get an idea of how that experience is.
[ Video ]
Okay. Cool. So yeah, do you want to just take a second and talk about that one for a little bit, just with the person next to you? Maybe a comparison to the first one? How you found it.
Okay. Cool. So yeah, how did people feel about this one to watch without sound? How was it?
PARTICIPANT: Much better.
PARTICIPANT: Yeah, a lot more effective at, you know, keeping you watching it until the end, for sure. I think the power of the progress bar is actually really strong. Like, truly, if I’m looking down, and I notice it’s only 30 seconds long, like you said, cool, I’ll finish this. But the trailer format, it keeps your attention. It’s designed to keep your attention. But even that piece, it already has a story in it. Here’s what you expect, here’s a twist at the end, and here’s not to expect. So I think that’s already a cool effective bit of editing.
PARTICIPANT: It communicates the topic very clearly, even with just a few words. It doesn’t take much. But that’s enough to… you know what’s going on, and you know what the show’s going on.
PARTICIPANT: The tran reveals tight, they can you tell bits out along the shot. So they, sort of, fast forwarded in a way, and jumped to a point. It was compressed from something that was longer to something that was short. `
GIDEON: I think the whole show is pirated on YouTube. So that was actually taken from the title sequence. I think there’s a whole slow motion of him putting on more—kind of dressing up. So that’s a big part. So yeah, they’ve taken a tiny fragment of that. But it’s probably enough with the label to tell you about that. But that communicates quite a bit that you didn’t get at all in the first clip, right? That’s important to get in the trailer. ‘Cause this was used for on-demand catch-up, they were expecting people to turn the sound off, because they would turn the sound off during the adverts. So I think they may have thought about that use case. So seeing it again with the sound so you can see it kind of in that way.
[ Video ]
Okay. And so they go. The sound add a lot for you this time, or less?
PARTICIPANT: Didn’t do much for me. I think the only meaningful thing was the last sentence of, you know, saying what he was doing. But that could have been done with text.
PARTICIPANT: But even that, that’s kind of the impression you get. It just kind of reinforces what you already…
PARTICIPANT: They also had sort of macho music.
PARTICIPANT: I found it kind of aggravating as long as you get the sense of what…
PARTICIPANT: And at the start there’s a bit that you didn’t get as well. Like what he said at the end, but at the start they were talking.
GIDEON: It’s quite hard to play, I can try and play it from the beginning. It’s like saying, what is a man, or something. He’s asking them in the council state.
PARTICIPANT: Are you talking about the dialogue between the actual people on the screen? Or…?
PARTICIPANT: The start is people on the street talking.
PARTICIPANT: I couldn’t understand.
PARTICIPANT: Even with the audio up.
PARTICIPANT: What’s a real man? [Inaudible]
GIDEON: So that’s talking from the north of England. So I think that was, like, in that episode, they go to a town that used to be, like, known more for coal mining. And the coal mining industry’s kind of gone. And so, he’s talking to these people about what makes them masculine. Some of these have become kind of these MMA-style amateur cage fighters. But yeah, that’s the Northern English accent might be hard to translate. But they really do need subtitles if they sold that show abroad. So yes. Okay. So this is the third and final example you’re going to get now. So this is what they actually put out on social media. Or in fact, sorry, do you want to rate that one out of ten as, like, a social experience to watch with the sound off?
PARTICIPANT: I would still be kind of surprised to see that on Facebook because it seems much more traditional advertisement.
PARTICIPANT: But it would probably be more effective. But it doesn’t seem like—yeah. It still doesn’t seem like a style made for social.
GIDEON: Okay. Cool. So we’re saying six or something?
PARTICIPANT: I would say six.
PARTICIPANT: I would say seven.
GIDEON: Okay. So we’ve gone from about one to six. So we’re going to play this cart which they actually played on Facebook and see what you think. So I’m going to turn the sound off again, and then we’ll see. So yeah, this is what they actually used on Facebook.
And so that’s, like, the head of the—like the head of finance for the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer so there you go. So yeah, take a sec and talk to us what do you think of that version. One minute, 48.
Okay. Cool. So yeah, I guess very quite different from the first two. Any thoughts, especially if someone hasn’t spoken so far?
PARTICIPANT: Um, we thought it was kind of weird how they jumped from the captioning on the bottom, and then, like, the big, kind of, idea captioning. It was kind of jarring a lot.
PARTICIPANT: Yeah, I would have stopped watching it, as soon as the captions were small, and then went to the dialogue. That was not interesting. But towards the end, when it went back to the sculpture, I found that more interesting. Interesting to see, because now on Facebook Live you can see audience engagement.
PARTICIPANT: We thought that—okay. They say that one quote saying these financial guys think he’s wrong, they don’t like the sculpture. But they don’t actually talk about what they don’t like about it. This is impossible to do post-production if they didn’t get the footage of saying, “I think it sucks.” That’s the quote I want afterwards. In other words, not them bickering on the phone. There’s too much B roll, too wordy to a point. It should be, if it started with the sculpture, it should be believe tied in, and not loosely fragmented. Sort of following the structure of the argument.
PARTICIPANT: I don’t remember what I said.
GIDEON: So in the actual show, yeah, you do get—so what happens in the show the a, so he goes, and he talks to the city, and at the end, he invites them all to the Chard, which is one of those giant glass tall buildings in London and then makes a big reveal. There’s actually big artworks that you makes in the city. There’s the penis, and then there’s the bull kind of trampling the terrain, different stuff. But yeah, he gets their reactions. So the bankers he talks to, he invites them back, and yeah, so they do say that. I don’t know why they didn’t include that. Maybe it wasn’t punchy enough, or it’s quite lengthy, and nuanced there, the explanation. But yeah, you do get that in the actual show. So they would have had that footage if they wanted. And any other thoughts about it?
PARTICIPANT: I just thought it was too long, again. I don’t think there was any need to put half of the stuff that was in it that was in it.
GIDEON: So you think you could have cut it down. So that was 1:48 or something?
PARTICIPANT: I know, Anna and I discussed this, 48, I think that’s right half the time. But I think somebody said, the captions aren’t that appealing. There’s better ways of titles stuff, and maybe captions are a lot smaller. I don’t know. I didn’t think they were great.
GIDEON: Yeah, so that’s actually one of the things that you get with these videos like you were saying is, you get a mix of these kind of traditional kinds of captions at the bottom and then these kind of overlay explaining text. I don’t know what the correct word for this. Reuters call this all a texted video. I don’t know. But yeah, part of this format tends to be captions, and then the explanatory overlays and that’s just the style because you can explain a lot with words. But maybe style it better.
PARTICIPANT: I think it all comes back down to the content the they style in it, because if they’re going to make you read something, you better get something out of it that’s really profound and I didn’t get that when I was reading. And it probably just comes to, like, I would have wanted, like, 16 seconds, not, like, an hour—not like a minute or 16 or whatever. It felt really long.
PARTICIPANT: I was going to say the format was the format was clearly the best of the three formats.
PARTICIPANT: Seems like the captions in the videos, captions are kind of like the bag of facts, when you treated, you’re like oh, I learned something in each and every single caption.
GIDEON: Yeah, that’s interesting. I’ve got an example after this, that’s more example of that style of format. In guardian, we call those explainers, I think that’s something that we’ve made up, but it’s video with text on it that tries you teach you very quickly. Vox may have similar things but different made-up words for it. But I’ve got some examples of that stuff. Do you think this stood out as opposed to the others? Those were more trailers, and this was more pitched like a news story. Do you think it told its story on its own? Would you watch the show after? Or…?
PARTICIPANT: I felt this told the most complete story. But it didn’t make me more interested. It was like, all right. Now I know the gist of things. Now, I don’t need to hear more from that guy.
GIDEON: So it tells you the whole story. It’s pitched a bit different, like, a beginning, and middle, and end. Like, I’m still interested for the bits in between. And that seems to be quite common social style when you compress your whole story. So you don’t just make it a pitch and say, “Click here to watch the video,” the full thing. And that is a challenge. So for publishers, they actually want you to go to their site or TV want you to watch their show. But that’s less satisfying, if you watch the trailer, you don’t feel like you’ve watched the content. Say, at The Guardian, if we have a long documentary do we have a short version that tells the whole story, or do we have a trailer and you feel fobbed off because you have to go somewhere else. And that’s a really hard problem if anyone’s got any thoughts about that. But yeah, that’s a challenge that publishers are kind of wrestling with. But just like the other ones, I’m going to play this back with sound so you can see kind of get an idea how that was can you tell, as well.
[ Video ]
There you go. Is it much different with the sounds? Did it add anything?
PARTICIPANT: No, I don’t think so.
GIDEON: Okay. Cool. So I hope that was kind of interesting examples. How would you rate that one out of ten as a kind of—would you share it? I guess that’s the key barometer, right, because they probably want you to do that at the very least.
PARTICIPANT: I wouldn’t share it.
GIDEON: Okay. So just for context, yeah, it’s got half a million views in the UK, which is really good. It might be that it’s less of interest to a U.S. audience, maybe. Just to give some context. But it definitely—so the other trailers kind of only had a few thousand views on Facebook. So you can see how it scales on Facebook. And you can see if it works, it drives up traffic.
PARTICIPANT: I wonder if—I’m sorry—I wonder if people shared it in the first 15 to 20 seconds, where it had humor and a dick joke. And maybe they didn’t finish it. And we’re sitting there, having watched it three times, and so we’re bored. But when you watch it and hit the share button.
PARTICIPANT: It’s the novelty in concept. It’s still a show that’s better in video than it is in text.
PARTICIPANT: Do they track that, at what time stamp somebody shared it?
GIDEON: I’m not sure if that’s available. I’m sure Facebook knows that. All we know is that on Facebook, a play means you saw it for three seconds. It didn’t mean you clicked on it. It means you saw it for three seconds.
GIDEON: So yeah. And I think on Facebook—or YouTube, sorry. You have to be 30 seconds watching the video on the video page. And so it’s quite a different measure of a view. But maybe, yeah, it’s kind of telling what you’re saying about—so it’s kind of an emotional—there’s some emotional hook like there’s the thing that’s interesting about a giant penis, and they show that right up front, right? They don’t wait until the big reveal at the end. Because you might only see it for three seconds. And you might share it after 15 seconds. And yeah, that would be interesting to note. Cool. Yeah, the last example I’ve got, it’s a bit more like you were saying—yeah, these kind of explainer formats that teach you something. So, we do a lot of that in Guardian, that’s, like, one of our standard things these days, like, since this new kind of format came up. So I just want to show you an example of that and see what you think of it. It’s really short because that’s the nature of the format. And so this one is 50 seconds. So you can see, maybe it’s too long. But we’ll see.
So, so same thing. I’ll play it with the sound off.
[ Video ]
Cool. That’s it.
PARTICIPANT: Can you play it again?
GIDEON: Yeah, I can repeat it.
PARTICIPANT: It makes me angry.
GIDEON: Yeah, have a lot of that clip.
PARTICIPANT: The fact that we just wanted to watch that again. I think that says something.
PARTICIPANT: Like I feel like I would probably stop watching there, honestly, if I was actually going through Facebook.
PARTICIPANT: It feels like, I want a KitKat.
GIDEON: It’s going to make you hungry, right?
PARTICIPANT: It looks like one of the effective techniques is to hint at a lot more content that they’ve distilled down to something. Would you think this one feels distilled and the last one feels stretched. I didn’t feel like okay, there’s all this stuff that they’ve condensed this for me. I feel like that one had one thing that stressed. But this is—they have a mountain of stuff that they’ve taken off the top for me. For some reason, that makes me more likely to watch it.
PARTICIPANT: It feels more dense. Than traditionally, you’re getting less out of the video without the sound.
GIDEON: So how would you rate it out of ten as a social network kind of thing?
PARTICIPANT: An eight?
PARTICIPANT: A nine?
PARTICIPANT: I can’t think of a different format that I would rather experience that story.
GIDEON: So you think it’s really well suited to the format?
PARTICIPANT: I feel like I’ve seen a million videos like that go by my Facebook stream. And so, people share that. It seems like it’s pretty successful. I don’t because I don’t like sharing things.
PARTICIPANT: But if I saw that, I would at least look at it, to find out what the key—what’s going to happen.
PARTICIPANT: I feel like in addition to being quick to consume, it takes this really important—the issue about it isn’t really about chocolate. It’s about Brexit, and the economy, which is an incredibly important topic. So I feel like it takes this important topic and puts it in a consumable, like, chocolate coating that makes it easy to share.
GIDEON: Right. And I don’t know if you can see, there’s yeah, there’s, like, a humorous caption. And I think that goes to what you’re saying. I realize that it’s a serious topic but it’s a jokey kind of tone. Especially first in a—so I think the assumption is that the readers will be upset, or the people—it’s enticing those types of people.
PARTICIPANT: Can I have you look up another example?
GIDEON: Sure. Yeah.
PARTICIPANT: ‘Cause I just realize that it’s from The Guardian and I realized that it was it was one that I had watched and thought, wow, I would have watched it if it wasn’t in this text format. And I just Google, “Refugees reunited with cat.”
GIDEON: So yeah, if you’ve got examples and you want to put it in the etherpad, that’s cool, as well. If you paste it in there, that’s just nice that people have the reference.
PARTICIPANT: And it’s on YouTube, which makes it easier to find.
PARTICIPANT: Or are there any examples of shareable video?
PARTICIPANT: Yeah, that’s the one, right at the top. It was just the first time that I noticed myself watching the video, and the text, and realizing that I was continuing to watch it specifically because of that.
GIDEON: Yeah, so this, we would probably call an explainer, as well. You can see kind of the similar kind of font and lettering and stuff like that. Although, it’s a bit—yeah, that’s right. So we can see if there’s sound on this one. I think there is some.
PARTICIPANT: In a Burberry bag? That’s kind of… weird.
[ Video ]
PARTICIPANT: I’m a huge sucker for that kind of stuff.
GIDEON: Well, what’s interesting, maybe it shares with the last video is there’s an emotional kind of hook into a topic. So you can have a really intellectual way of looking at Brexit, or what tends to work well in social is some sort of emotional hook. If you see, there’s a report on the etherpad, that talks about work on social, and usually, texted, and having an emotional hook, is something you can see in common. Maybe the giant cock thing is a similar thing where you get some sort of reaction. It may not be the same warm, fuzzy reaction, and they’re trying to get some sort of reaction out of you. Cool. So yeah, that’s been a really interesting discussion. So we have a few minutes left so we’re not going to look at tools or anything. Are any of you working on this stuff, or are you currently captioning, or you want do more, or you want to do more but you don’t have the time, or resources. But I don’t know. So, right now, these processes are really manual. I’ve seen how they do it. So Guardian, we have templates in Premier, we just templates, and it’s really clunky. Same with the subtitles, there they might have a transcription of that, and they’re typing it in. And it’s hard to scale. And that’s maybe why people aren’t scaling this to Facebook. But now it’s imperative and other social media sites. But there are, in the etherpad, there’s links to different tools like Trint that Mark worked on, that do automated transcripts. So if you’re looking to get started, it might be nice to look at one of these tools to help making captions for your videos. So captions kind of come in two different ways, where you can toggle them on and off where it’s like side loading and overlay, and these kind of style where it’s burned in, where it’s a part of the video. So you might want different styles for different things.
So yeah, now let me see if I can…
PARTICIPANT: As a side note, I feel like probably worth looking at what the Hillary Campaign is doing for the campaign. I feel like the cutting edge of shareable videos in the United States would be good to look at it.
PARTICIPANT: There’s a link to AJ Lusser on the etherpad.
GIDEON: And not just on Facebook, or Instagram and that’s your thing. So yeah, if you want to look more kind of into what works, and doesn’t. Then you can get started. And if there’s other channels that you know, then you can add links there. So yeah, and there’s links to captioning tools and stuff if you want to get started and do more stuff yourself. I’ll quickly show you Trint in one second. So I’ve uploaded one of the Guardian videos. And it does automatic speech-to-text. So this is completely unedited. And what’s impressive, it gets some of these terms like Teresa Menus, who’s the prime minister. So there’s got some things where he’s making this kind of northern noise, it struggles with that. But you can go in, and you can just make corrections here so you can see he’s got this northern A there, which is kind of wrong, so you can just go in, and I can edit that out. And like this, where it’s already texted in the video, I can just remove that out. So it’s using a text editor. And I can export this, as well as, highlight, as a subtitle format, and upload it straight to Facebook. I don’t know if I have time to show you that now. But you can export it as this subret format.
PARTICIPANT: You can also export as captions. We haven’t gotten it so that it puts all the bits together yet but we had it working once.
GIDEON: So yeah, I can take this and then I can—I think, it just did. So if I go to options here, and I edit this video, so yeah, I can here upload .srt file. It has to be like this special format like this filename.en_gb.srt. Evening this is clunky but I think this will improve over time. But for now, you have to get the special format because I think so that it knows what language it’s in. So we’ll call this for now, OJ, and it has to be .EN_GB, which is British English. So I can just take that, and I can upload it. Yeah… and then… save that. So normally, I would have gone through and made more corrections.
So it’s quite easy. I think they’re a bit short than what you would probably want. But for the effort it’s pretty good. So yeah, and there’s a trial link that you can use on the etherpad if you want to try this out. So it’s really cool, a lot less labor than doing it manually.
So they go—I think we’re kind of out of time. I hope it’s been interesting, and really good examples. And kind of thinking about next steps if you’re doing video stuff yourselves. That’s it. Thanks.
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PARTICIPANT: Do you know if you’ve associated a subtitle file with your video. Facebook, when they auto-play do they auto-have the captions turned on?
GIDEON: I think that’s on. And I think if you play a Facebook advert, they’ll have in beta—I think that’s not. Live for everyone yet. But I think they’ve got their own automated service plus human editing. So I imagine, maybe, in a year or two, that would be just available for everyone. So Facebook will provide this kind of thing.
PARTICIPANT: One quick announcement. I don’t know if anyone here knows Ben Moscowitz, he was previously in New Zealand, and he was doing all sorts of crazy things but he and I are working on a course at NYU with video remixing specifically as it pertains to U.S. political—the presidential elections. So I’m just throwing a shout-out. This is an open course that we’re building. And so anyone that is interested in either, like, being engaged and trying one of our assignments or helping us design one of the assignments—it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment—or, you know, helping with some of the open source tools that we’re using like Hyperaudio, or Popcorn, or things like that and we’re building out, too, for. I’m Dana Schultz…
GIDEON: And I approve this message!