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May 8, 2007

Evelyn Glennie at TED, and solving subtitling notification online

Last week I came across this TED video of Evelyn Glennie: How to listen to music with your whole body.

In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie leads the audience through an exploration of music not as notes on a page, but as an expression of the human experience. Playing with sensitivity and nuance informed by a soul-deep understanding of and connection to music, she talks about a music that is more than sound waves perceived by the human ear. She illustrates a richer picture that begins with listening to yourself, and includes emotion and intent as well as the complex role of physical spaces -- instrument, concert hall and even the bones and body cavities of musician and listener alike.

Except on the website, there's no subtitles.

My first reaction: p*ssed off, etc. Secondly, the website has enough sponsors on there, to easily get funding for subtitling. TED can afford it.

Moving on. All this caused me to wonder, has this been subtitled already? Perhaps at Project ReadOn or dotSUB. Since I can't find it, I assume not, but I can't be sure. Have I searched properly?

How do I know if this video hasn't been subtitled elsewhere? Am I expected to go to each individual site and check? Do an extensive online search? Even if I had video notification via RSS from these sites, who said I could remember everything that appears? I'm not going to. Hopefully, such services are likely to grow in future and a solution needs to be thought of now.

I would like a Firefox extension developed, that works pretty much like BlogRovr but for subtitling. When I go to a site with video, I would like a pop up box to appear to let me know where a video has been subtitled. Just as when you install BlogRovr, it suggests sites that provide subtitling services (to be monitored). In addition, if and when new companies come onto the market, you can add these / configure your extenstion. Call it SubRovr or something? This of course would require some kind of open standard API or blog on the part of existing service providers so they can communicate with the Firefox extension.

Could Access Firefox, Open & Closed Project, subtitling providers and Deaf geeks and anyone else who's interested actually work together to make this happen?

See also:
Deaf people & Firefox Extensions
Online subtitling & getting Geeks to notice the need for diversity
A Gamer asks for subtitles
BBC & accessible online content
IBM addresses multimedia access for blind. Deaf access where?
Vlogging grows, where's the subtitles?

Crunchgear: Deafies are a good cause

Crunchgear thinks deaf people are a good cause:

Someone using technology for a good cause and not just to pump out more megapixels or whowhatsits per second.

Wish sites would see past feeling sorry for us or rather people trying to help Deafies, and actually step back here. I for one would like an objective review of VeeSee, from the mainstream. If this was a mainstream site, what would you say? See past the sign language, and what's your take as an iPTV site?

Note to Crunchgear: yes I get the whole long tail thing, and the point of your post re niche markets. Specifically relating to Deaf people, there is a need to utilise developments online particilarly around sign language. There is much needed to be done also, particularly in respect of inclusiveness. To this end, I would call on people like Joost and venture capitalists, to work in partnership with Deaf companies such as Remark! (and its counterparts in other countries) to produce sign language iPTV. Allow the mainstream to educate and work in partnership with minority communties, to share knowledge. Such initiatives have to be done in partnership with and led by Deaf people.

Deaf people reading this post, I would encourage you to participate here, to get our ideas across to the mainstream.

See also:
Vee See makes BBCi News Technology: Paternalism 2.0? (Noesis)
Vee See makes BBCi News Technology: Paternalism 2.0? (Grumpy Old Deafies)
VeeSee
Interpreters and the whole set up scaring me

May 7, 2007

Speeding up YouTube download time

speedbit.jpg

Speedbit has had a million downloads in 49 days. A million people via word of mouth can't be wrong! It speeds up videos via YouTube. Good for watching signed videos, and no need to press pause to wait for the thing to load.

diagram.jpg

Shame this doesn't work with other video output online, could really make use of it on other applications.

Via Scoblezier.


Vee See makes BBCi News Technology: Paternalism 2.0?

veeseebbctech.jpg

VeeSee is currently the top story at BBCi Technology News page.

Where's the impartial reporting by the BBC, and go beyond the reporting its done to question the set up? This is one sided reporting. The issue with DEAF stuff, is that media outlets can infrequently see past the charity case that and their interpretation of people with broken ears might be, which leads to somewhat odd media reporting.

It is Deaf Awareness week in the UK, thus people come out in droves to show how they are helping us.

Don't get me wrong, I want signed content on the web, and do not want to knock effort down. However, this is locked in centralised content, which the rest of the web is moving away from. UK Deafies existing in their own bubble?

I get the drive for a tv channel online, and something flagged for years by various people. I would also question if this is actually tv, but instead locked in vlog style videos that could easily be hosted on respective sites.

We really do not need paternalism 2.0 in the UK? Why are Deaf people of the mindset over here that they cannot host their own sites, blogs and vlogs, and need someone to hold their hand? Makes you all come across as charity cases.

See also:
VeeSee
Interpreters and the whole set up scaring me

May 2, 2007

Online subtitling & getting Geeks to notice the need for diversity

ustreamtv.jpgA few weeks back, Chris Pirillo was communicating to an audience via ustream.tv. Chris was talking via a box, and anyone who had stumbled on the page could participate in a text chat underneath.

Except I couldn't understand what Chris was saying, yet got the one sided conversation via the text chat. Apart from the fact I could see the implications for interactive television specifically sign languages, and bilingual communication here, I became frustrated. All I could see was online space that made my world more accessible 10 years ago, was about to go full circle. The inaccess gap was becoming wider again. Incidentally, I experienced the same thing watching Scoble casting from his car the following day, except it was a bit more visual so slightly easier to put up with.

Back to Chris' chat. I entered calling myself DEAF, just so geeks would immediately get it. I said that I couldn't understand a word, great idea but where's the subtitles? Robert Scoble answered saying something along the lines of it was too expensive.

readon.gifSince Mateo Gutierrez had recently contacted me to let me know about Project Read On (which I meant to review, but life got in the way - its since been reviewed elsewhere, will possibly come back to this). I gave Scoble this link, just to let him there was possibilities or solutions out there. Robert replied that he was happy for his videos to be hosted anywhere, so they could be subtitled.

Bottom line: I've always wanted to access the ScobleShow. Incidentally, I'd flagged this up with Robert before via his blog, and he had responded regarding the need to budget for this.

dotsub.pngSince mentioning Project Read On, I've become aware of dotSUB acts like a Wikipedia when it comes to subtitling something. Anyone can volunteer to subtitle stuff, and text can be modified, added to etc.

I would really recommend you watch this video, produced by Rocketboom:

Rocketbottom and DotSub via CommonCraft

This is a great move forward, but I've got some random thoughts:

- I want the Scoble Show on there, and Robert please tell the world about it, there is a need for volunteers and access matters;
- Same goes for ZeFrank, I want to be able to access him too;
- The tech world needs to take this seriously, Anil Dash published The Old Boys Club is for Losers a few months back, its a compelling post (check out the links too), be more inclusive and come up with solutions;
- Going back to subtitles / captions. There should be a link under vlogs to say they are subtitled at a certain place, a bit like an 888 logo in the UK or CC symbol in the States. Don't rely on chance encounters of people finding the accessible version;
- There needs to be some decent discussion around access, with the view of access online in the future. It would be cool if self regulation could come out of this, but has experience taught us that relying on goodwill is not enough? I get the self governance of cyberspace, just media content will increase through these streams in future. How are we going to interact?

So many thoughts ...

See also:
A Gamer asks for subtitles
BBC & accessible online content
IBM addresses multimedia access for blind. Deaf access where?
Vlogging grows, where's the subtitles?

April 11, 2007

VeeSee

veesee.jpgVeeSee is a website that has been launched in the UK by an interpreter, Susie Grant. The site is operating under the Deafeatures Ltd.

Before I go any further, I really want to be positive about online development, but I'm really struggling here. More about that later. The site has a very strange mix of web 1.0 content and design, mixed with a web 2.0 approach through a social network. On the face of it, the site offers:

A Marketplace, like eBay aka Sell and Buy:
Just like eBay, you can list items for sale. The cost is anything between 20p and £1.50 depending on price band. Before you think about selling your stack of old hearing aids, it is banned.

My immediate question here: why would I want to list an item here, when I get a bigger buying audience over at eBay, Amazon Associates etc, which would push the price up? Why are Deaf people any different in this respect, and what are the advantages of using this site to a mainstream one? The only thing I can think of, is selling specialist products or reaching out to a niche market. Auctions for general stuff, I can't see how it benefits me?

Courses, aka Sell and Learn:
You can get paid to upload course materials online. Exactly how much is unclear, and my guess payment will link into the quality of materials and demand. However, should you wish to follow a course online, you need to pay. This is not immediately obvious and I get this information from the terms and conditions which talks about refund for courses should one be cancelled.

My immediate response to this is around online learning. In a society where online content is not freely accessible, and hearing people are able to either (a) access free sites, or (b) access LSC supported sites where discounts are available should one be on benefits, it kind of capitalises on inequality. However, how much different is this to private companies offering courses? Deaf people need to ask themselves this question, and sufficient discussion needs to take place.

Social Network site, aka VeeSee Community:
Deaf people in the UK hang out on Bebo these days. To build a social network, it takes a lot of effort and where is the attraction to register? There appears to be no open source API in use, thus your own data locked in and not able to be transferred to another social network site. There needs the ability to insert widgets or content from say Flickr, YouTube.

"Hosted vlogs" aka VeeSee TV:
Signed TV with subtitles, or so it states on the website somewhere. This appears to be subscription based after one month. Actually I'm very confused about this, as there is this (when I looked appeared to be a lot of talking and no access) and a pop up box (that doesn't execute in Firefox) that is accessed from the top navigation bar, which provides some signed content. So where exactly am I supposed to go?

Why can't this material be placed on free sites? Where is the encouragement of vlogs? Is video online really TV? If its bandwidth that's justifying the fee, why not host videos at third party sites?

Information aka VeeSee EyeBytes:
From its title, it suggests easily digestible information. Only its not. Where's the formatting of the paragraphs, my eyes just glazed over. Secondly, where is the BSL content? Where there is a 'National Calendar'? Its just blank this end, and there's no RSS. How would this be different from other sites that already provide the same?

Chat and Discuss:
This feature hasn't been launched yet, only its "Coming Soon", therefore I cannot comment. Its not in the interests of any site to launch with pages missing. If the content is not there people are not going to go back.

Some other comments:

Who's advising you? This site is already in danger of falling flat on its face.

Patronising: The first newsletter (PDF file) says "... and never have to feel alone or isolated again". That by itself makes me never want to visit again, and boycott it. What doesn't already exist on the net already that doesn't allow me to interact with other people? There are other examples on the site that makes me ask this.

Paternalistic: In an age where blogging and vlogs are gaining steady ground, why is an interpreter setting up this site and people send in their videos, and moreover payment has to be made to access this? Why can't people just upload videos to YouTube? Where is the empowerment to allow Deaf people to create and own their own content? Own pages on another site really doesn't do it. Whist there might be every good intention here, it fails to really get its aim. Content has to be decentralised. My other question around centralised content, and locked in data is around how money is made in that manner. The same questions could be asked of mainstream hosted sites though.

Lack of accessibility to the Deaf Community: For a website that wants to exist around the Deaf community, there is very little or nothing by way of BSL navigation or dissemination of information. The terms and conditions contain words such as: circumvent, perpetual, irrevocable, proprietary, "Verified Rights Owner program" (USA spelling).

Long sentences such as this one, "Without limiting other remedies, we may limit, suspend, or terminate our service and user accounts, prohibit access to our website, remove hosted content, and take technical and legal steps to keep users off the Websites if we think that they are creating problems, possible legal liabilities, or acting inconsistently with the letter or spirit of our policies. We also reserve the right to cancel unconfirmed accounts."

In all the waffle around terms and conditions, "We do charge fees for using other services, such as listing items. When you list an item or use a service that has a fee you have an opportunity to review and accept the fees that you will be charged based on our Fee Listings, which we may change from time to time." People should not be expected to read a load of inaccessible English to find that out.

I should not need to say this to an interpreter.

Layout is messed up in Firefox: I do not want to be forced to open IE to view VeeSee. However, you are forcing me to do this, as in Firefox I get half a screen, where the video plays at all.

One month is not long enough for a trial, plus to bribe me into paying: I'm not going to get hooked, I will watch free vlogs elsewhere instead. Who is seriously going to pay? As for payment, how many people have access to a credit card? I don't use them.

Lack of transparency and bad navigation: The navigation is nothing short of hell. See my comments under VeeSee above. There isn't consistency in presentation of information. From this page, its subscription based after one month. However, it took me a while to find it. The site is obviously out to make money and be run as a business, however, it needs to be clearer.

Tries to do too much: Tries to be too much, and my head is all over the place. Things such as advice leaflets are in danger of being dated extremely quickly. Do you have the resources to do this? Would people want an advice environment, when you are trying to get them to hang out too? What part of the site that is UNIQUE?

Lack of RSS capabilities: if a website does not have RSS or a blog these days, I really don't want to know. Bottom line, I'm not coming back. Web designers in the UK really need to understand this.

Stupid terms and conditions: Who wrote all this? This bit made me laugh, "You agree that you will not use any robot, spider, scraper or other automated means to access the Websites for any purpose without our express written permission." So they don't want Google, Live, Yahoo Search etc to find them? What's the point in having such a website if noone can actually find it? Search engine bots have to write to them first? As a friend said, I would like to see this being enforced in court.

Whilst this site has possibly been established with the best of intentions, it gets it wrong. In an era when Deaf people should be owning and hosting their own content, where decentralisation of information is a mainstay, here we have the complete opposite. I'm saying all this, not because I want to knock down effort. I want a better quality space, especially in the UK, and right now its not happening. All I'm capable of feeling is embarrassed and ashamed, the UK can do better than this.

March 10, 2007

Sign language for sale?

Scoble is on my list of Twitter friends, which translates as my phone going off every 2 minutes. He's at SXSW (which incidentally I've really wanted to attend since 2004 - small question, who pays for BSL/English interpreters?)

Anyhow, the point of this post, Scoble mentions in one of his messages Aweli are into "virtual product placement ads on videos". Which translates as vlogs carrying adverts, and the vlogger getting paid for it. I've blogged about getting paid for vlogging before, and how the Deaf community could and should utilise this a bit more. Due to our visual nature, we are more likely to watch videos as a method of communicating than hearing communities, thus a perfect opportunity. Someone should bridge a gap between companies such as Aweli and the deaf market (even as general consumers), to make this happen. Perhaps even set up an outlet yourself?

Its about vloggers getting paid to produce and in some ways encouraging uptake. There's of course the downside, and revenue streams should never dictate content as it compromises the impartiality of blogging. That said, do we really want to be bombarded with adverts? Sign language for sale?

February 17, 2007

First sign language vlogs

Here we go again, discussion around the first vlog. I feel as if I'm living on a different timescale here, and watching the mainstream play catch up.

As a point of clarification, for Mike, whilst Helga used sign language on her website, it was not in the form of a blog. Back in 2004, we followed her site via Deaf Blawg (blog temporarily offline). In fact her standing for parliament was announced the same day as this blog was launched, so we closely followed her election campaign as a fellow lawyer. Her site was not in blog form, I was already becoming increasingly frustrated through the lack of RSS feeds / trackbacks. If you are going to go down the road of sign language being used on a website regularly, you might want to include Deaf Station, or in terms of BSL being used online, an earlier project called Art Signs.

This is how the first BSL vlog came about.

In 2004, I had been working on a website around BSL Recognition for about a year, and I wanted to push the use of BSL online. I'd been blogging at Language Wired but quickly gave up as I wanted to focus on sign languages, deaflawyers.org.uk and various personal blogs since April 2002, but but was frustrated at the lack of BSL.

From a geek angle, in February 2004, I joined Orkut (when it was new, full of geeks, and invite only) through a geek mate. Orkut at that time had rankings of people with the biggest social network, through this I started to get into reading geek blogs, and my interest in social software was born.

One of the feeds I picked up was Marc Canter's, and in August 2004, he posted something about video blogging. I subsequently joined this group, and posted my message here (incidentally I can remember typing this):

8 August 2004

Hiya

I've just joined this group, following a link from Marc Canter's blog. Thanks Marc. I am so pleased that this group is in existence.

I live in the UK, and I'm no techie, just an end user who is really interested in how the net can be utilised better. Specifically on video blogging, this is just the thing that I've been looking for in
relation to Deaf people.

Blogging is a great tool, but it relies on written English / other written languages, which can make it inaccessible for Deaf people. For some time, I've wanted to see video blogging ... whereby the entries are simply videos, which inevitably are signed by the Deaf person. This would be a huge advancement in terms of Deaf people collectively having a voice plus empowerment. Traditionally they've been at the mercy of organisations, which = paternalistic. I like the idea how blogs can be individual yet collective / interelated, and an great opportunity to record grass root opinion.

I am aware this would take up an enormous amount of bandwidth, plus server space .. so I question how realistic this dream is.

Deaf people are starting to use web chat rooms such as camfrog.com but this is obviously a chat room, and blogs are a different animal.

Ideally, I would like to see blogging software such as MT, Blogger etc, create video blogs and its not just uploaded files to a standard blog. If that makes any sense?

So that's why I'm here.

Alison

Note: these were the days before YouTube, blip.tv, etc, which did not appear for another 12-18 months!

I then encouraged Rob to join the group, and he posted. Jay replied and posted instructions on how to vlog (it wasn't known as that back then!) plus there was a flurry of replies on and off list. I couldn't upload video as I was still on dial up, but in the process of switching to ADSL. Rob then vlogged here, and even gained international mainstream press for his effort, including mention in printed press. I and Ben Fletcher followed with vlogs.

All this is nearly 3 years ago, and seems rather ancient now. I blogged about this at the time, and it can be found here and here.

Incidentally later that month we set up a BSL discussion group.

Jared asks the question of the ASL vlogs, and I can remember this clearly. It was around 2 January 2006, the day we launched deaf-blogs.com. Through setting up this aggregator, as a development team we wanted to push it as a sign language aggregator. However, at that time, blogging was relatively unknown in our community (and to think it was only 13 months ago!), thus thought it was impractical to push for vlogs alone. Incidentally, this discussion had been happening since September 2005, and outside e mail and IM discussion we started to push floating this idea publically in November 2005.

To this end, and as a compromise, we set up the front page of deaf-blogs.com for a vlog feed, to encourage people to post vlogs. Joe, Ben and Rob were particularly active during this time with posting vlogs. During the week that followed, a number of people responded via vlogs: Jen, Darren, and later people like Tyron plus John and various USAers. In the same week a sign language vlogging community was set up at Live Journal, alerted via englishdude and encouraged by us. The RSS cache has never been cleared at deaf-blogs.com and its very likely that the first ASL vlogs will be there (it had a substantial feed set up before it was publically launched).

Update: I've found another two blog entries back from September 2004 here and here.

Update 2: The Livejournal Signing Blogs group is here, this was set up a few days after the launch of deaf-blogs.com

January 27, 2007

YouTube: getting paid for your videos

The BBC reports that YouTube founder has stated that "People who upload their own films to video-sharing website YouTube will soon get a share of the ad revenue"..

This will become available in the next couple of months, and it will become an excellent way for vloggers using BSL, ASL etc, to make money from their sites, in the same way as sites written in English can raise funding via AdSense. I've talked about getting paid for vlogging in the past.

Somehow one doesn't think Google will call the new site will be called TubeSense! Perhaps video revenue be pumped into existing AdSense accounts.

December 21, 2006

Deafies not welcome at Yahoo! Video

Yahoo! Video is an idiot, and certainly a case of indirect discrimination.

Yahoo! Video states:

"Videos without audio will not be processed"

So that means videos using sign language, which will often be processed with no sound, cannot be uploaded. An extremely bad move.

November 27, 2006

Get paid for vlogging

Deaf people are very slowly taking to vlogging, which can sometimes be a time consuming effort.

deafread.com currently has a contest where it will select the best vlog, the winner will be in receipt of $100. Since the site has a USA bias, then this is going to be restricted to ASL content. However, an incentive to get people vlogging.

What about other revenue streams, or how could you make money out of vlogging. You could slap adverts all over your site, but out in the mainstream, there's products that allow you to get paid for video content. Instead of just hosting vlogs on your site, or an external site such as You Tube where a third party cashes in on your hard earned graft, why not consider alternatives and earn some cash for your efforts?

The main entrant to the mainstream market has been Revver, where funding is described as:

"When you upload your video to Revver, we attach an unobtrusive advertisement to the end of it. We call this "Revverizing." Whenever anyone clicks on that ad, you get paid. We host your video for free, give you the tools to share it with the world and split the ad revenue with you 50/50..

This is indeed how sites such as the captioning site Harkle makes its money.

The mainstream gets a new entrant to this market, Break.com. As the video or photo you submit must get published on their home page, vlogs featuring sign language are at an immediate disadvantage, since they are unlikely to be understood by the masses. The site owners make the decision on which content is worthy, but it pays $400 (up from $250) for original videos, $2,000 for original short films and flash animations, $25 for original photos, and on a sexist note $50 for "Girl of the Day" photo.

One wonders when such sites for the payment of vlogs will exist or indeed compete, as what techies would call the emergence of the long tail goes.

November 6, 2006

Vloggies

Last night was the Vloggies, awards for the best vlogs online. Deaf people weren't included, yet as a visual medium that can empower sign languages, we should be embracing this.

With so much content being produced in spoken English, subtitling vlogs is a time consuming effort, therein lies a risk of exclusion. That is not to stop vlogs in sign language being generated, and as I've often said, for the first time we have an opportunity for publishing and more to the point distribution of sign languages. Cost prohibition, and previously technology has prevented this in the past.

The tide needs to be turned, and more vlogs need to be produced, even if it is to make a statement this can provide more for us, than just see a huge inaccess barrier (from spoken language vlogs).

Here is a tutorial on how to vlog, thanks Joe.

The question is, when are we going to see Sign Language Vloggies?

November 3, 2006

Harkle & Lonely Girl

Harkle is a new search engine that has been launched, to search captioned video / audio on the net. From the adverts at the end, presumably funding being raised through Revver

Deaf people looking at Harkle, often question what's the deal with the Lonely Girl vlogs. Because of inaccess means they've not followed vlogging trends, plus podcasts. Thus there's an an information gap, and it is assumed people are up to date on culture.

I'd only discovered Lonely Girl through danah's blog back in September, which is the only reason I was aware of the background and culture here. I would recommend you read should you need a context.

June 19, 2006

Subtitling vlogs

.. and other online video, is being encouraged via dotSUB.com.

The site provides a tool for adding real time text to videos as subtitles. And is being pushed as subtitling film in a native language, then for it to get translated into other languages via written text. I've not tried out this site yet, but one hopes that the option is there to keep subtitles in the original language. No facility for signed language translation, yet. However, there is in a sense a recording or "translation" from audio to a visual means, and encouragement to do so for wider means provides access to those whose ears are broken(!)

However, from a minority language perspective, one has to applaud this site, going against the tide of English being a killer language. Through the use of the net, therein lies the pressure to use and communicate in English. This expectation lends nothing but weight to the suppression of minority languages, and the threat for these to become extinct.

Each time we lose a language, we lose a window in the understanding of humanity, its culture and literally how the brain processes information. The loss of a language, cannot simply be reacquired, languages are thousands of years in the making carrying the weight of historical and cultural nusances. Once lost, they can never be brought back. For this reason alone, tools such as this needs to be promoted widely.

March 17, 2006

KeepVid

I've been asked several times this year, if it is possible to save videos that are produced online. KeepVid allows you to save videos from sites such as YouTube.

To date sign language has been poorly documented and archived, especially on a community level. One hopes such a site would go some way to archiving.

February 9, 2006

Video Bomb

Video Bomb is the video of Digg. The concept is simple, where a video, or in the case of Digg an entry, is good, it gets bombed or digged.

I can think of a few vlogs that should be submitted to Video Bomb, just to gain a wider audience.

January 21, 2006

Your Tube

A post over at TechCrunch states that Your Tube might soon be acquired.

This might have implications on vlogs using sign language, one that I have had particular concern for a while, archiving. Sign language has not traditionally been preserved, and to had the archiving of sign language vlogs to a commercial company is a dangerous thing. This needs to be explored properly, and better still, solutions.

January 10, 2006

So where's the BSL interpretation then?

Those banging on the access drum, with regards to ensuring BSL vlogs are subtitled, I have a question for you. When are you going to sign all your blog posts, sign the backlog of forum posts in English, to ensure it is accessed by BSL users? If you want to bang on about a standard, then surely you have to practice it first rather than throwing demands into thin air.

Blogs are about individual expression, and should I want to start writing this blog in Welsh in so much as I might do some BSL posts, then so be it. There's a Spanish blog under Spain, under France there's a French blog, so why isn't anyone demanding they are translated into English (the ultimate killer language)?

BSL is a language in so much as others are, and if someone wishes to express themselves in that language, then that is their choice.

Subtitled vlogs, if you want them then you start creating them

After Tony expressing discontent, Joe has gone one better and created a hilarious post which is subtitled, however not to what he is signing. Go and take a look, and you will not be disappointed.

This post was in response to some mumblings in certain quarters of cyberspace that BSL vlogs should be subtitled. My response: go to hell. Blunt words, but if you want to interact with BSL users, go and learn to sign.

A blog is a person's space to say exactly what they think, and in a language they wish to express themselves in. If its Riograndenser Hunsrückisch, Lak or even Chinese, where are the demands for such material to be made available in written English? Why do we get some kind of turf war as far as BSL users are concerned? Especially with employing tactics which bring about killer language traits, well known as far as English goes. Why is there pressure on the BSL user to become bilingual for another's benefit?

If you cannot stand watching BSL users expressing themselves in their language, I suggest you go away or better still just go and learn to sign. Or what good excuse have you cooked up in terms of what is stopping you?

I will sign off with the following paragraph from one version of the PR:

Self-publishing has traditionally been focused on the written word, which can and has prevented Deaf people from recording their experiences and traditions. The written word has also offered little interactivity and did not lend itself to the nuance and grace of sign language, itself a visual medium. Self-Publishing was often an expensive form of expression and historical record, with the equipment and software necessary for recording sign language costing more than the average Deaf person’s budget. As a consequence both experience and tradition have relied much upon the contemporaneous nature of an oral history which is, otherwise, left unrecorded.

Perhaps something to think about?

January 9, 2006

Flickrs of Video

Tech Crunch has an overview of the Flickrs of Video. Really worth familiarising yourself with it, if you are into vlogging.

Marc Canter says there's a dark horse coming.