Scoble has “long and boring” videos…

People keep saying my videos are “long and boring.”

Well, let’s look at this one. It certainly is long. 54 minutes long.

But if you find a camera that can refocus AFTER you take an image boring then I really don’t want to know you.

That’s just the start. It’s an interview with me and Thomas Hawk of Mark Levoy, one of the top graphic researchers in the world. He’s a professor at Stanford University and does a TON of interesting stuff with photography.

Oh, and if you don’t have the 54 minutes to spend, my editor Rocky made a short five-minute version for those of you who can’t watch anything longer than 10 minutes.

Damn you Rocky. I liked having a reputation for having long and boring videos.

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/10/PID_012888/Podtech_PhotowalkingMarcLevoy.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/4437/advanced-photographic-research-at-stanford-with-prof-marc-levoy&totalTime=3242000&breadcrumb=c073b452be914a34b4532145c69354d9]

95 thoughts on “Scoble has “long and boring” videos…

  1. I personally like the long video format with the semi-unstructured questioning. Following the stream of consciousness is far more interesting than something that’s edited or scripted. We get a chance to really see what drives this individual, his passions, aspirations and issues. It’s raw.
    Another tip if time is short is to play the video at 2x normal speed. It may seem strange but speeding the video up works really well, I frequently use Window Media Player to do this. Most people generally speak too slowly to begin with. Scoble actually sounds interesting at faster speed :)

  2. I personally like the long video format with the semi-unstructured questioning. Following the stream of consciousness is far more interesting than something that’s edited or scripted. We get a chance to really see what drives this individual, his passions, aspirations and issues. It’s raw.
    Another tip if time is short is to play the video at 2x normal speed. It may seem strange but speeding the video up works really well, I frequently use Window Media Player to do this. Most people generally speak too slowly to begin with. Scoble actually sounds interesting at faster speed :)

  3. I think it would be brilliant to have regular 5 minute versions of your longer work–sort of a Viewer’s Digest. It would increase your viewership and would tell me if I wanted to see the 54-minute version.

  4. I think it would be brilliant to have regular 5 minute versions of your longer work–sort of a Viewer’s Digest. It would increase your viewership and would tell me if I wanted to see the 54-minute version.

  5. Lost in all the long-video format debate is that the content of this particular video is incredible. That microlens array camera demonstration literally made my jaw drop open. That is some incredible technology.

  6. Lost in all the long-video format debate is that the content of this particular video is incredible. That microlens array camera demonstration literally made my jaw drop open. That is some incredible technology.

  7. I suppose I am too late to get into this conversation. But — why don’t you use veotag or something like that to make it possible for viewers to skip to the parts of the video that interests them. Veotag is extremely easy to use, i.e., very modest additional time for you.

    It would give your viewers the best of both worlds. When they wanted to see the entire video they could do that. When they were in a hurry or were only interested in a segment they could do that. It would obviously be a step toward making your viewers happier — fewer complaints about being too long. It will not do anything about ‘boring.’

  8. I suppose I am too late to get into this conversation. But — why don’t you use veotag or something like that to make it possible for viewers to skip to the parts of the video that interests them. Veotag is extremely easy to use, i.e., very modest additional time for you.

    It would give your viewers the best of both worlds. When they wanted to see the entire video they could do that. When they were in a hurry or were only interested in a segment they could do that. It would obviously be a step toward making your viewers happier — fewer complaints about being too long. It will not do anything about ‘boring.’

  9. The ironic thing is that rather than just give us the video you had to talk about the length and such. Rather than commenting on the interesting elements about the video this comment section has turned into another debate about video length which really detracts from the good content in the video.

  10. The ironic thing is that rather than just give us the video you had to talk about the length and such. Rather than commenting on the interesting elements about the video this comment section has turned into another debate about video length which really detracts from the good content in the video.

  11. “I’ve had CEO after CEO tell me that one of the reasons they come on my show is that they know I won’t cut up their words and make them sound stupid or out of context.”

    Well of course they do. The more camera time for them the better. But generally if an interview is edited such that things are taken out of context or the person looks stupid, the interviewer has an agenda or he has a lousy editor. A good editor would ensure the subject’s message is coming across as intended; or is edited to fit the agenda.

  12. “I’ve had CEO after CEO tell me that one of the reasons they come on my show is that they know I won’t cut up their words and make them sound stupid or out of context.”

    Well of course they do. The more camera time for them the better. But generally if an interview is edited such that things are taken out of context or the person looks stupid, the interviewer has an agenda or he has a lousy editor. A good editor would ensure the subject’s message is coming across as intended; or is edited to fit the agenda.

  13. Proper editing shows understanding of the medium, and respect for your audience. “Long and boring videos” is another way of saying people don’t think your a very good videographer. But it gets you interviews, so who cares.

  14. Proper editing shows understanding of the medium, and respect for your audience. “Long and boring videos” is another way of saying people don’t think your a very good videographer. But it gets you interviews, so who cares.

  15. This is an excellent video and deserves the length. For me, the semi unstructured nature in questioning and ad-hoc answer tangents reveal additional depth, feeling and content; details that otherwise would not have been captured. We also see passion, excitement and discomfort which allowed me to relate to Mark and his work.
    When I’m short on time, I can use fast playback in Window Media player. You can quickly become accustomed to watching at 2 or 3 times the original speed without loss of context. Actually I now find I prefer a faster speed to the point where normal speed feels too slow. Scoble sounds more interesting at high speed too …

  16. This is an excellent video and deserves the length. For me, the semi unstructured nature in questioning and ad-hoc answer tangents reveal additional depth, feeling and content; details that otherwise would not have been captured. We also see passion, excitement and discomfort which allowed me to relate to Mark and his work.
    When I’m short on time, I can use fast playback in Window Media player. You can quickly become accustomed to watching at 2 or 3 times the original speed without loss of context. Actually I now find I prefer a faster speed to the point where normal speed feels too slow. Scoble sounds more interesting at high speed too …

  17. “Compare not to 60 Minutes but to something like Charlie Rose or in the Actor’s Studio.”

    Given the type of questions, I was thinking more along the lines of Kevin Trudeau, Larry King, or Billy Mays.

  18. “Compare not to 60 Minutes but to something like Charlie Rose or in the Actor’s Studio.”

    Given the type of questions, I was thinking more along the lines of Kevin Trudeau, Larry King, or Billy Mays.

  19. And here lies the root of the problem that will eventually lead to the demise of wetsren civilisation; The short attention span. It has been cultivated by comic books, IPODS and MTV. It is quite possible that the average adult born within the last thirty years is clinically unable to maintain interest in anything that approaches an hour in length. I once mentioned to a colleague that I was a voracious reader of books, and he told me he could only handle magazines, and I think that was because they had a lot of pictures in them. Do not pander to this blinkered majority, continue to produce epic stimulii for the lengthily attentive.

  20. And here lies the root of the problem that will eventually lead to the demise of wetsren civilisation; The short attention span. It has been cultivated by comic books, IPODS and MTV. It is quite possible that the average adult born within the last thirty years is clinically unable to maintain interest in anything that approaches an hour in length. I once mentioned to a colleague that I was a voracious reader of books, and he told me he could only handle magazines, and I think that was because they had a lot of pictures in them. Do not pander to this blinkered majority, continue to produce epic stimulii for the lengthily attentive.

  21. The shorter versions are just random bits clipped together, doesn’t always mesh (read: almost never). Should ask the same few questions (script it out), and have the interviewee break it down (practice), 2-3 minutes for an explanation, and 2-3 minutes for a demo, all to create a workable synthesis. If the interviewee can’t do elevator pitches and quick demos, he/she doesn’t deserve to be in front of a camera.

    Long (and boring) videos, pointing the camera at anything that moves, with belly laughs, random banter and guests dribbling on and on, doesn’t play in the mass market — on Channel 9 you could get away with it more, as people had a vested interest. Regular broadcasters have a hard enough time getting people to stick around for even 30 minutes, and fight for it every day, with most losing big.

    Not that this will ever sink in…and not like it’s my place anymore, but a random opinion for what it’s worth.

    in that it takes some guests a LONG time to get a point across

    Then DON’T put them on camera, or force them to shorten it, and that’s an lame excuse, or rather the interviewers fault. Good production/planning, good scripts, are 80% of good editing, imho. Editors aren’t miracle workers, GIGO…

  22. The shorter versions are just random bits clipped together, doesn’t always mesh (read: almost never). Should ask the same few questions (script it out), and have the interviewee break it down (practice), 2-3 minutes for an explanation, and 2-3 minutes for a demo, all to create a workable synthesis. If the interviewee can’t do elevator pitches and quick demos, he/she doesn’t deserve to be in front of a camera.

    Long (and boring) videos, pointing the camera at anything that moves, with belly laughs, random banter and guests dribbling on and on, doesn’t play in the mass market — on Channel 9 you could get away with it more, as people had a vested interest. Regular broadcasters have a hard enough time getting people to stick around for even 30 minutes, and fight for it every day, with most losing big.

    Not that this will ever sink in…and not like it’s my place anymore, but a random opinion for what it’s worth.

    in that it takes some guests a LONG time to get a point across

    Then DON’T put them on camera, or force them to shorten it, and that’s an lame excuse, or rather the interviewers fault. Good production/planning, good scripts, are 80% of good editing, imho. Editors aren’t miracle workers, GIGO…

  23. David Jacobs makes a good point about “something to be said for people who know how to present well”. What’s most important is reaching the desired audience. Conveying the significance of Facebook – or whatever – to a group of people that rarely use the Internet is going to require some careful planning and production time to be effective. But if Scobleizer can do an interview with new VP of marketing Chamath Palihapitiya while he is eating a chicken wrap or playing foosball, many in Scobelizer’s core audience will probably watch it from beginning to end – with or without editing – and tell a friend.

  24. David Jacobs makes a good point about “something to be said for people who know how to present well”. What’s most important is reaching the desired audience. Conveying the significance of Facebook – or whatever – to a group of people that rarely use the Internet is going to require some careful planning and production time to be effective. But if Scobleizer can do an interview with new VP of marketing Chamath Palihapitiya while he is eating a chicken wrap or playing foosball, many in Scobelizer’s core audience will probably watch it from beginning to end – with or without editing – and tell a friend.

  25. What’s interesting about this dialogue is that the clear majority keep saying, we are interested, but edit down, tighten up, and you just say no, I’m a stubborn man, I will do it my way. Isn’t that a little odd after all your dialogue about naked conversations and crowdsourcing and the social graph and insert buzzword here?

  26. What’s interesting about this dialogue is that the clear majority keep saying, we are interested, but edit down, tighten up, and you just say no, I’m a stubborn man, I will do it my way. Isn’t that a little odd after all your dialogue about naked conversations and crowdsourcing and the social graph and insert buzzword here?

  27. Your videos are long and boring for the most part. That’s not to say the topics are boring, but I think you would benefit from tightening things up. Having real people present is very “new media” and there are benefits to that, but there is also something to be said for people who know how to present well. Just because it’s new media and more unscripted doesn’t mean it can’t be well produced.

  28. Your videos are long and boring for the most part. That’s not to say the topics are boring, but I think you would benefit from tightening things up. Having real people present is very “new media” and there are benefits to that, but there is also something to be said for people who know how to present well. Just because it’s new media and more unscripted doesn’t mean it can’t be well produced.

  29. Just goes to show that you cannot, EVER, please everyone. Pay attention to your target audience and you’ll do just fine- as we are. Some problems arise in trying to edit Scoble Show content (not necessarily this one)- in that it takes some guests a LONG time to get a point across. Editing that to a short version would come out strobed. Annoying. Sure, every episode can be edited. But that’s not my directive right now. I hear each and every one of you and I feel ya. Thank you for the feedback- It all helps in the long run. Peace!

    Rocky-

  30. Just goes to show that you cannot, EVER, please everyone. Pay attention to your target audience and you’ll do just fine- as we are. Some problems arise in trying to edit Scoble Show content (not necessarily this one)- in that it takes some guests a LONG time to get a point across. Editing that to a short version would come out strobed. Annoying. Sure, every episode can be edited. But that’s not my directive right now. I hear each and every one of you and I feel ya. Thank you for the feedback- It all helps in the long run. Peace!

    Rocky-

  31. Robert,
    I vote for unedited videos.

    “I won’t cut up their words and make them sound stupid or out of context” — this is important.

    You are creating interesting content for a passionate audience – as you note – without lots of processing or slickness. That’s what successful new media is about.

    I started watching the video above thinking it was the 5 minute version – figuring I could spare 5 minutes but not 54 – and I got so into it I had watched 10 minutes before it even occurred to me that I was watching the full length.

    It’s also cool that you are bringing the work of an academic researcher to a wider audience via the Web. Since I have never picked up a specialized photography magazine in my life, much less an academic journal of photography, I probably would never have been exposed to Prof Levoy’s work. But it’s fascinating, and I have the Scoble Show to thank for it.

  32. Robert,
    I vote for unedited videos.

    “I won’t cut up their words and make them sound stupid or out of context” — this is important.

    You are creating interesting content for a passionate audience – as you note – without lots of processing or slickness. That’s what successful new media is about.

    I started watching the video above thinking it was the 5 minute version – figuring I could spare 5 minutes but not 54 – and I got so into it I had watched 10 minutes before it even occurred to me that I was watching the full length.

    It’s also cool that you are bringing the work of an academic researcher to a wider audience via the Web. Since I have never picked up a specialized photography magazine in my life, much less an academic journal of photography, I probably would never have been exposed to Prof Levoy’s work. But it’s fascinating, and I have the Scoble Show to thank for it.

  33. I like the videos a lot, even some of the longer ones. I can’t recall how long it was, but loved the one with the guy who created SendMail a million years ago.
    I might not have time to watch three of them per week, but always enjoy them when I do watch, and I think the unedited style is refreshing and fun – phones ringing in the middle of interview etc. – it’s good stuff.

  34. I like the videos a lot, even some of the longer ones. I can’t recall how long it was, but loved the one with the guy who created SendMail a million years ago.
    I might not have time to watch three of them per week, but always enjoy them when I do watch, and I think the unedited style is refreshing and fun – phones ringing in the middle of interview etc. – it’s good stuff.

  35. I like the longer unedited videos. So many times the message is changed after editing. News it now news when it is edited… Keep it raw.

  36. I like the longer unedited videos. So many times the message is changed after editing. News it now news when it is edited… Keep it raw.

  37. Robert,

    Some time ago you published a video accompanied by a text chronology of the major discussion topics. In my opinion this is an absolute necessity to accompany any information-dense video, no matter what the length. I’m sure this is time-intensive to create, but really, it would be worth it for your audience.

    Let me, the user, chose what chunks of the whole I want to consume.

  38. Robert,

    Some time ago you published a video accompanied by a text chronology of the major discussion topics. In my opinion this is an absolute necessity to accompany any information-dense video, no matter what the length. I’m sure this is time-intensive to create, but really, it would be worth it for your audience.

    Let me, the user, chose what chunks of the whole I want to consume.

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