Einstein’s definition of insanity

“doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

As I begin this project I wonder how true this is in this case. Not that I doubt Einstein but perhaps some input variables are not constant. Have I been doing the same thing? and what results did I expect?

We live in an always on media world. Scheduled television has become on demand, radio podcasts are released before broadcast and we are under a sea of content. Choice is endless and scarcity is few. Hardly any media is exclusive and media’s value has fallen with the over supply of content, live has replaced recorded as a monetization point. Everyone’s phone is a HD or 4K camera ready to record. But can we find what we want in this media morass?

In the mid 1990s the massive growth in content on the worldwide web provided the opportunity for search engines to enter the fray. The big winner was Google. They indexed the web and helped us find what we wanted in text, image and maps and whatever else they turned their indexing to.

Search engines perform well at finding rich media (audio / video) if the metadata (title, author, description) is available inside the media (ID3 tags) or external to the media where it is hosted. What is not easily indexed is the inner points of interest (cue points / chapter points) where remarkable things happen deep into a lengthy media piece.

The potential to index audio and video in an automated or human way existed in Google Video but the product was downgraded when Google acquired YouTube.

Finding nuggets of information or simply advancing to a referenced point set by a friend is not that easy with modern media. How often have you found something really interesting deep in media but then you have to share the media link and explain to the recipient to advance to 44:23. Is there a more simple way to achieve this?

What is needed is a way to mark and record this new metadata and share it. This is the idea behind “Make media more discover-able.”

This project will explore the viability of such a system to succeed. Who will make the data points? and will they be useful to the audience? are some of the questions to be explored

Over the past month I have worked with independent radio producers to gain an understand of how they would or wouldn’t use the tool. I have explored recruiting volunteers from outside of the radio stations to take part in the project like Wikipedians. I surveyed every radio station in Ireland about their on demand offerings and their issues in delivering this media on an ongoing basis. I also surveyed audience on their podcast listening habits to gain an understanding of how prevalent the media form is in Irish society. Finally I tested marked up media with non marked up media and learned more about the effectiveness of advertising on social media to drive audience to media.

To answer the Einstein definition of insanity, I won’t be repeating any tests I had tried before, and what result do I expect? I would expect moderate usage of the product at industry level, possibly in the community radio sector where volunteers are more available and the importance of archive is strong.

Find the results in the conclusion.

Also read.

Surveying the radio stations
Surveying the podcast audience
The live media tests.
Building the cueing system.