Category Archives: video tagging

YouTube Finally Does Deep Linking

YouTube announced yesterday that you can finally form URL’s which allow for navigation to specific parts of videos. Also, if you’re writing a comment, you can just specify something in the form: MM:SS and this will be detected and turned into a link to that part of the video.

This is an interesting and I would argue non-intuitive way to specify links in videos. At the same time, it keeps the overall interface simple unless you’re an advanced user that knows the format for creating these links. It’s the expert interface way of doing things rather than the GUI approach. When someone hits, “add comment” why not augment the UI to let the user more visually specify where that anchor should be placed, perhaps even specifying an interval?

Videolyzer Alpha Online

Version of Videolyzer is now online! Videolyzer is a tool designed for journalists and bloggers to be able to collaboratively assess the information quality of a video, including its transcript. Information quality involves things like credibility, validity, and comprehensivness among other things.  Videolyzer was designed to support the analysis, collection, and sharing of criticisms of online videos and is initially geared toward politics. To try it out with some of the recent presidential debate content go to

Comparison of Video Deep Tagging Systems

Recently I’ve been looking at and comparing different factors in the design of several deep video tagging applications including Viddler, The Click, Mojiti, and Gotuit’s Scenemaker. Basically, I’m looking at a few different factors in the design space of these systems including the coarse cost of adding annotations (e.g. # of clicks, navigation, typing text etc.), whether or not the video pauses when adding an annotation, how annotations are anchored (e.g. on segments or on points), and if annotation on annotations are possible including whether any notion of threaded responses is supported. Each of these systems touches the design space in a different way. The take away from this exercise is that there are several interconnections between the costs associated with interaction (including video pausing) and the type of anchor used and whether annotations can be added to other annotations. These different design criteria affect the efficiency and user experience of the resulting application.


Cost: 4 clicks + typing (navigation, add annotation, select type, type text, confirm)

After the add annotation button is clicked, the video pauses so that the following actions don’t interfere with watching the video. If you expand a comment the video does not stop.

Anchors: annotations are anchored to a single point in the video, thus both in and out points do not need to be specified. Anchors are shown on the timeline as points.

Annotation on Annotation: People can vote on a comment using a thumbs up / thumbs down metaphor as well as reply to comments (only to 1 layer deep).

The Click

Cost: 2 clicks+ typing (add annotation, type text, confirm annotation)

The video pauses while you are typing a comment, but resumes after confirming the annotation.

Anchors: Annotations are anchored to points within the video but are not shown in the timeline; the only way to navigate is to move to next or previous comment.

Annotation on Annotation: No.


Cost: VERY HIGH. 5 clicks + typing + navigation + positioning.

The video pauses when an annotation is added.

Anchors: Annotations get added to a segment of the video which defaults to 5 seconds long. The in point begins at the click point.

Annotation on Annotation: No


Cost: 3-5 clicks + typing + navigation ([position in], [position out], mark in, mark out, confirmation click), including 0-2 clicks for navigation

The video stops only when the “end segment” button is hit. Thus the video continues playing after the start segment button is hit so that the user can continue watching the video. This seems to be a result of the use of segments in the application since if it were a point marker you would have to pause at that one point. I like the idea of only pausing at the end segment click though.

Anchors: Segments with in / out points.

Annotation on Annotation: No.