TechCrunch made the announcement today that all of its blogs will have the option for you to leave video comments via a service called Seesmic. It’s a powerful idea with a dead simple execution. As a result, comments are now a mix of text and video. Take a look.
I want to be on record for saying that this could be huge despite my own personal reservations. (I’m not a fan of posting videos of myself, though perhaps I’ll be converted sooner rather than later.) The biggest real problem is that you read faster than you watch video. This is especially true for those video commenters that tend to ramble. My solution:
There should be technology in place that automatically transcribes what people say in their video comments. The transcribed comment could be right along side the thumbnail of the video. I know that, for me at least, I’d be interested in seeing the “live” context of any particularly interesting comment. But in general? I’m not about to quadruple (at a minimum) my time reading (watching) comments on the blogs I check out.
Of course, there are also the standard problems of spam and porn. And then there are new problems like general weirdness of communicating with strangers. I do it all the time in text form, but in a video? It feels like it should be reserved for sci-fi movies. It might take some getting used to before “regular” (read: non- early adopters) people are willing to do this.
But imagine the implications if this takes off. Right now, this feature from Seesmic is available as a WordPress plugin. And just like comments can now be video, the same holds true for blog posts. Imagine then, what would happen, if this got implemented on a site like USA Today (an early adopter of comments, at least out of the traditional media group) or the New York Times.
And what about social sites like Digg, Reddit, Slashdot? Could video comments work in these communities? Is the TechCrunch implementation the beginning of video taking over content on the Internet? Or is it just an isolated incident?