Home  › Media › Media Buying

Is Video Really Searchable?

  |  May 9, 2008   |  Comments

Have we missed an opportunity to search content at a deeper level or should we just leave well enough alone?

We have more video on our hands these days than we know what to do with. Search has moved past the wunderkind position and is now a confirmed deity in the online universe. However, one of those nagging things we've overlooked in this dynamic industry of ours is that video really isn't a very well tagged form of content.

The tagging that happens on YouTube and other video searches is decent, but not robust in any way. Have you ever searched YouTube for a "tearful scene" and seen the results? Not what I would call specific to the keywords.

And if you try to drill down, it just gets worse. In fact, you'll be the one having the tearful scene after a while.

There's more to it than that. What about the idea of a deeper definition of a tearful scene? What about why there was a tearful scene? Yes, context is vital, but not evident in a non-verbal expression of an idea or a dramatic scene.

Online, words are the hooks that we hang technology on.

As odd as that may sound, we're condemned to exist this way until we can define experiences at the level of abstraction rather than associative definitions. It may be easy to find an actor but can you find a scene that they played by describing the narrative of the scene?

This may seem somewhat beside the point to some people. If you want something, think of the word that it's associated with, search it, and find the video clip. Easy.

That may be easy now, but as the content juggernaut grows, searching will continue to adjust to the volume. At some point it's not just a matter of scale, it's about context and narrative.

Searching isn't good at dealing with abstract terms, like "beauty." Yes, you can drill down and refine the search, but there are so many variables that it becomes pointless.

Searching for video content reminds me of the Rolling Stones lyric, "You can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes you just might find, you get what you need." OK, Mick and Keith aside, I think I've made some sort of point.

How we get there is the real question. I'm sure there are some amazing minds that can figure it out. As I've said many times before, users may not have evolved enough to use this theoretical search solution yet. Then again, maybe they have.

We need to study the way people describe a thing they're looking for, without using specific words, and try to build a search result that works.

The questions would have to be specific to video, or motion picture content. Like: "Describe the scene in 'Blade Runner' when the killer robot dies on the rooftop in the rain." Then, ask: "What was the mood of that scene?"

That's what Ask.com was known for, but for some strange reason it didn't catch on. Maybe it's time for a search algorithm reunion tour. Or search algorithm 2.0.

Searching streaming video content must become more accurate, right down to the scene level. That may seem crazy, but as we get a higher level of content length and complexity we'll see the need increase every day.

One thing's for sure: all hope is lost that I'll go back into my VHS tapes to find that one part of that movie I taped and wanted to see again.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dorian Sweet

Dorian Sweet is the vice president and executive creative director of GSI Interactive who leads strategic development and innovation in online advertising, Web development, e-commerce, and customer relationship management programs. His work has brought award-winning online solutions to such clients as Clorox, Miller Brewing Company, GE, Visa, eBay, British Airways, Wells Fargo, Discovery Networks, Motorola, Kodak, Sears, 20th Century Fox, and others.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get ClickZ Media newsletters delivered right to your inbox. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...