Saturday, August 30, 2008

Gustav "evacuate" videos can be embedded -- but there's a problem

In keeping with the spirit of Web 2.0 -- interactivity -- and the essential spirit overall -- sharing -- CNN now lets users/viewers embed its news videos on non-CNN sites. (The video most recently embedded here was of people leaving New Orleans after Mayor Ray Nagin advised them to get out as the 'mother of all storms' bears down barely three years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.) The danger, in terms of the old business model for publishers hosting journalism, is that people will not need the actual site once they can see the video elsewhere. Nor will their "clicks" count as the "eyeballs" sales reps sell to advertisers. However, others contend that people viewing a CNN video, no matter where, will be likely to trust CNN enough to seek out that site for future news. And, it's free brand distribution. But there's a bigger danger. Bet you don't see a video here. That's because each time CNN updates, the link goes sour and you can no longer see the embedded video. Unless they fix it after the time of this posting, that's a serious frustration. I'm tempted to go elsewhere because CNN has now wasted my time -- I embedded two videos that worked and then didn't -- and, even worse, make the embedder look foolish.
UPDATE: About 60 minutes later, the video embed is working. Must have been my criticism, right? (Not.)

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